In a landmark 1998 decision, the high court ruled that the ban on sodomy -- defined as oral or anal sex acts -- conflicts with the right to privacy guaranteed by the Georgia Constitution.
"We cannot think of any other activity that reasonable persons would rank as more private and more deserving of protection from governmental interference than consensual, private, adult sexual activity," wrote Chief Justice Robert Benham in the decision, approved by a 6-1 majority.
Like the fornication law, the sodomy law applied to both heterosexuals and homosexuals, but it was disproportionately used to brand gays as "criminals" and justify discrimination in areas such as employment, child custody and visitation.
M., although the girls mother did not ask for it, the ACLU said in its brief challenging the law.
Fayette County District Attorney William Mc Broom, whose office prosecuted the teen, did not respond to an interview request.
Because and were not engaging in sex in a public place, the right to privacy that the Georgia Supreme Court used to overturn the state sodomy law should apply here, the ACLU argued.
[EDITOR: We expressed disbelief at this law in the past and received many emails telling us that even though the law was in place, it was not used -- and never would be used.
Our argument was that this was another one of those "problems" that could surface when you least expect it.
In other words, the age of consent in Georgia doesn't matter -- it only matters if you are married or not. Have you ever noticed that legislators never remove bad laws -- they just stay on the books.
By LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN Attorneys hope a legal case involving two heterosexual teens caught in a sexual act by one of their mothers will end up overturning a Georgia law that makes all sexual relationships between unmarried people -- including all gay sex -- illegal.
The Georgia Supreme Court should strike down the states ban on fornication, the law used to convict the Clayton County teen, the ACLU of Georgia argued in an appeal filed June 25.
According to Georgia Code 16-6-18, "an unmarried person commits the offense of fornication when he voluntarily has sexual intercourse with another person and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor." The law effectively bans all sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage, leaving gays with no way to legally consummate their relationships, according to Beth Littrell, the ACLUs lead attorney on the case.