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CARSON CITY, Nev. – Today, with Governor Sandoval's signature of SB 388, Nevada's "infamous crimes against nature" statutes were finally repealed.
The ACLU of Nevada fought this law on two fronts: one, to repeal these statutes through the legislative process; and two, to expose the unconstitutional, discriminatory application of this law by prosecutors, by pursuing a legal case through the courts.
"Nevada has finally equalized its age of consent and ended its decades-old discrimination of same-gender relationships. By repealing SB 388, 'infamous crimes' in Nevada take their rightful place in the dustbin of history," said Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada.
Legislative Director Vanessa Spinazola added, "Because of the hard work of legislators, and the Governor signing this law, we were able to remove this outdated and discriminatory law from Nevada's books."
"We applaud the state of Nevada for taking the critical step of repealing the ‘infamous crimes against nature.’ As we emphasized in bringing John Doe v. Elko County & Mark Torvinen, in April of this year, “the ‘crimes against nature statute’ creates a double standard that treats identical conduct differently based solely on whether the sexual activity involves two persons of the same sex.” A system that singles out homosexual behavior for additional punishment cannot withstand equal protection scrutiny under any standard. We believe that the filing of the class action challenge acted as the driving force to ensure the repeal of this historical anachronism. The age of consent for minors should not depend upon their sexual orientation, said Staci Pratt, legal director of the ACLU of Nevada.