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Implications of and Reactions to the Repeal of Law Banning Sex Between People of the Same Gender

The repeal of the law criminalizing sexual relations between people of the same gender has had an impact on a court case and has drawn the praise of a gay rights advocacy group. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

PROMO, a Missouri group that lobbies on behalf of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gender individuals is praising a new state law.

The law, which makes changes to the state's sex crimes statutes, de-criminalizes sex acts between two people of the same gender.

Don Dressel of Springfield is Senior Field Organizer for PROMO.

The sex crimes bill gained overwhelming approval from the Republican-controlled General Assembly and Republican Governor Matt Blunt signed the bill into law this week.

The Republican bill sponsor is Scott Lipke.

He cautions against reading too much into the passage of this measure.

In light of the fact that Republicans in the legislature pushed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2004, Dressel says he was surprised that Republicans would vote to remove this language from statute.

In a related story, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon says he's asked the Missouri Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal of a case in which the state is seeking to block a lesbian couple from becoming foster parents.

Nixon's spokesman Scott Holste says now that the sex crimes law has been repealed, there's no need to continue with the case.

News of Nixon's move to have the case dismissed angered officials with the Missouri Social Services Department.

Deborah Scott is department spokeswoman.

Scott says the department is sending a letter to Nixon asking him to withdraw his dismissal motion. She the department will put an emergency rule in place to bar homosexual couples from becoming foster parents.