MONTANA: Republican Party Wants To "Keep Homosexual Acts Illegal"
The Montana GOP refuses to remove a call to "keep homosexual acts illegal", which falls under the "Crime" section of their party platform, despite the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence ruling. In fact, they are keeping the plank even though Montana's own state Supreme Court struck down a ban on gay sex six years before SCOTUS.
Montana GOP executive director Bowen Greenwood said that has been the position of the party since the state Supreme Court struck down state laws criminalizing homosexuality in 1997 in the case of Gryczan v. Montana. Nobody has ever taken the initiative to change it and so it's remained in the party platform, Greenwood said. The matter has never even come up for discussion, he said. "There had been at the time, and still is, a substantial portion of Republican legislators that believe it is more important for the Legislature to make the law instead of the Supreme Court," Greenwood said.
Critics say the policy is a toothless statement, the effect of which is simply to make gays feel excluded. A University of Montana law professor says Montana's 1997 case and the U.S. Supreme Court's Lawrence decision means there's no real chance for the state GOP to act on its position. "To me, that statement legally is hollow," said constitutional specialist Jack Tuholske. "The principle under Gryczan and under Lawrence, that's the fundamental law of the land and the Legislature can't override the Constitution. It might express their view, but as far as a legal reality, it's a hollow view and can't come to pass."RELATED: In June the Texas GOP called for the recriminalization of sodomy and for making it a felony to perform a same-sex marriage.