State Senator John Murray, R-Ames, and State Representative Reid Crawford, R-Ames, will be speaking at a meeting of the Gay People's Liberation Alliance (GPLA) Sunday at 8 p.m. in Frisbie House, 2330 Lincoln Way.
Harassment of homosexuals and sodomy laws were discussed in an informal meeting between State Senator John Murray, R-Ames, and Rep. Reid Crawford, R-Ames, at a meeting including members of the Gay People's Liberation Alliance (GPLA).
Murray voiced support for the removal of sodomy laws.
"In the proposed criminal code, sodomy is not listed as a crime," Crawford said.
Crawford was a member of a joint House-Senate committee to revise the Iowa Criminal code. The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed the committee's revised form of the code and the bill is now on the calendar of the Senate.
The present sodomy law states: "Whoever shall have carnal copulation in any opening of the body except sexual parts, with another human being, or shall have carnal copulation with a best, shall be deemed guilty of sodomy."
The only people arrested on sodomy have been homosexuals and it (the law) applies to heterosexuals as well," said Dennis Brumm, member of GPLA.
Although the Iowa code does not prohibit being a homosexual, it does limit homosexual activity, according to Allen Bell, member of GPLA.
Harassment was another problem aired by members of GPLA.
The harassment level at Ames is not as high as other places because it is a college community, but harassment does exist, according to Brumm.
"That's a societal thing. Just because we are gay, we are harassed by students, like in the Union," Brumm said.
"Faculty are pressed by departments to stay away from openly gay people," he added.
"Gays are a minority and they are treated similarly to other minorities," Murray said.
Brumm said if homosexuals had equal rights legislation as do other minorities, they would be able to fight harassment.
"If there was equality of sexual preference, you would have a legal basis. One could more actively go to court," said a member of the group.
When Crawford asked if a law would change people's attitudes, Brumm answered, "It will do a lot towards it, I think."
Bell said it would take one more strain off the gay person.
Murray indicated an interest in eliminating harassment of gay people in Ames and Iowa, asking members of GPLA to compile a list of specific harassments to give him facts to work with.
Bell cited as a recent example, last Thursday night's harassment of a GPLA member in a bar by five fraternity members. Bell said he will go to the Dean of Students to ask that those five people be expelled.
The idea of including "sexual orientation and lifestyle" into the Civil Rights Amendment was urged by members of the group.
Murray said he would consider sponsoring an amendment to put "sexual orientation" into the Iowa Civil Code, but said the word "lifestyles" was too vague.
"'Lifestyles' is purposely vague, so people can live as they want," said Mary Martin, Pole S 3, of Madrid.
Murray said, "Maybe we can take some activity down to the legislature to make equal opportunity really mean that."