Woodhull Testimony Tells it Like it is
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 28, 2023 — Washington, DC
Woodhull is pleased to announce that Maryland repealed the Unnatural or Perverted Sexual Practice Act (HBO131 and SB0054). This repeal is a victory for the human right to sexual freedom, and we applaud their actions.
We submitted testimony in February, 2023 in support of the repeal. We were frank and direct in what we had to say. Prior to the repeal, Marylanders could receive a misdemeanor conviction subject to imprisonment or a fine for: “taking the sexual organ of another or of an animal in the person’s mouth; placing the person’s sexual organ in the mouth of another or of an animal, or committing another unnatural or perverted sexual practice with another or with an animal.” The ordinance essentially criminalized any sexual act outside of vaginal penetration.
The prohibition of consensual sexual activity between adults is a violation of our human rights and bodily autonomy. We cannot allow antiquated and discriminatory laws to remain on the books and leave us vulnerable to prosecution. This exact ordinance was used to arrest four gay men as recently as 2021. Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas enshrines our right to consensual sexual activity. Maryland’s ordinance stood in direct opposition to that ruling.
In a year that has seen massive attacks on LGBTQ+ people and their rights, we are glad to see Maryland do the right thing. Thank you to the Senators who vote to repeal this archaic law. The law will go into effect in Maryland on October 1, 2023.
Established in February 2003, The Woodhull Freedom Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to education and public advocacy supporting sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. Our work builds on the affirmations of individual rights contained in the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.