Montana gov. signs bill decriminalizing gay sex

April 18, 2013

An obsolete law deeming gay sex as deviant — akin to bestiality — was stricken from Montana code Thursday, prompting gay rights activists to say they hope full legal equality may be near.

When Gov. Steve Bullock (D) signed Senate Bill 107 decriminalizing gay sex, cheers erupted in the Capitol’s Rotunda. It had been 16 years after the state Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional and 24 years after activists began their fight to take government out of the bedroom.

“I am not going to speak too long because, frankly, the longer I talk, the longer this embarrassing and unconstitutional law stays on the books,” Bullock said.

The decriminalization bill passed the House on a vote of 64 to 35, and it cleared the Senate 38 to 11. In both cases, Republicans joined minority Democrats to advance the legislation.

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