The Michigan state senate passed bill SB219 from Republican senator Rick Jones (generally known as Logan's Law), which amended a part of the Michigan penal code pertaining to animal cruelty (mainly to come down hard on the breeding, and sale and use of animals for things like dogfights). The bill prevents anyone convicted of animal abuse from owning another animal for five years.
However, this law also applies to bestiality. Acts of both bestiality and sodomy are addressed by the same portion of the state penal code. The Bill states, "a person who commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with any animal, is guilty of a felony," which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Sodomy bans, which outlaw anal or oral sex, were ruled unconstitutional in 2003 by the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. Most states removed the anti-sodomy laws from their books, but Michigan is one of the 12 states to have kept the language as is, 13 years after the ruling.
Senator Jones said that the language referring to crimes against nature were deliberately left in so the bill would pass through the senate. When Jones was asked by Towleroad's John Wright why he didn't remove the reference to sodomy with mankind, Jones said "nobody wants to touch" the terminology.
"In my opinion, the only way you'd ever get rid of that particular law you're talking about is if you had a mass law that dealt with 100 different laws that are unconstitutional, and that just happens to be one of them. But if you focus on it, people just go ballistic, and I know what happens," he told Wright.
"If we could put a bill in that said everything that's unconstitutional will be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that's probably something I could vote for, but am I going to mess up this dog bill that everyone wants? No."
After much public outrage, the Michigan House agreed to remove language that reaffirms the State's unconstitutional sodomy ban, according to Equality Michigan. The removal of the language from the bill won't necessarily remove the ban entirely, but it's an important step toward it.