It’s 2018, but we in America still live under a number of laws borne of religious rules rather than an actual need to protect the public: alcohol sales on Sunday, denying a woman the right to terminate a pregnancy if she so chooses, allowing businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and more — but did you know that 18 states still have laws on the books declaring that anal sex is illegal. In fact, according to these states’ laws it can be a felony if you have anal sex in the wrong place.
Some of the states featuring illegal anal sex restrict this ban to dudes doing butt stuff but most of the states who ban anal sex apply that restriction to everyone. There are a number of myths about anal sex — including that the big guy upstairs isn’t that fond of it. Because of this, we have trouble getting laws off the books in more religious, primarily southern, states.
So, which states make it illegal to have anal sex?
Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky still have laws on the books making it illegal to have anal sex if both partners are male.
Idaho, Utah, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana all have laws banning butt stuff between any two people regardless of gender.
So, um, am I going to jail if I like having anal sex?
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s 6-3 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, you can enjoy butt stuff with whomever you choose, even if a number of states choose to keep laws on the books. The case arose when two gay men, John Geddes Lawrence Jr. and Tyron Garner, were arrested for “deviate sexual conduct.”
In the majority opinion, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said:
The present case does not involve minors. It does not involve persons who might be injured or coerced or who are situated in relationships where consent might not easily be refused. It does not involve public conduct or prostitution. It does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter. The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.
The Lawrence ruling was historic because it struck down anti-sody laws nationwide, protecting your right to have anal sex with whichever person lets you play with their booty hole.
“Some of those were enacted by constitutional amendment. Some of them were passed by statute. Those state legislatures have never rescinded them,” acting legal director for civil rights group Lambda Legal, Camilla Taylor, told Snopes last year. “But they’re unconstitutional nonetheless, and they cannot be enforced.”