LA Sodomy Law Blocked
Louisiana District Judge Robert Murphy on Oct. 16 ordered an end to enforcement of the state's almost 200-year-old "crimes against nature" law in Jefferson Parish, citing state constitutional privacy guarantees. His order protects anal and oral sex in private between consenting adults on a noncommercial basis. Enforcement of the law had already been barred in every other parish in the state as the result of a 1994 lawsuit by the Louisiana Electorate of Gays and Lesbians, Inc., but Jefferson's then-district attorney John Mamoulides successfully maintained before the state Supreme Court that he could only be sued in his own parish. The Electorate will be back in court again Oct. 26 in Orleans Parish, seeking to make the 1994 injunction permanent.
Patent Office Bruce Lehman, one of the highest-ranking, open Gays in the Clinton administration and the first to be confirmed by the Senate, announced Oct. 22 that he will be leaving his post as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office at the end of the year. With the passage by both the House and Senate of major international treaties which he said "bring copyrights into the Internet age," he felt that, "I think I've accomplished everything I can and it's time for me to move on." He also said he's in need of a rest.
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