The Constitutionality of Laws Forbidding Private Homosexual Conduct

The laws of forty-three states and the District of Columbia impose criminal penalties on consenting adults who engage in private homosexual conduct. Most of these laws are sodomy statutes, which also prohibit oral and anal intercourse between heterosexuals and sexual acts with animals. Two states have statutes explicitly limited to homosexual conduct. These statutes also prohibit nonconsensual homosexual activity and homosexual acts involving a minor, but this Note addresses only prohibitions on private consensual adult homosexual conduct.