GOP Stops Death Penalty Repeal; Keeps Anti-Gay Law

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – House Republicans put a stop to plans to repeal the state’s death penalty and to get rid of an obsolete state law that criminalizes gay sex.

Both plans had cleared the state Senate, but the House Judiciary Committee tabled both proposals on Friday.

The death penalty repeal would replace it with life in prison without parole. Supporters argue the risk of killing an innocent man is too great, while opponents argue it remains valuable punishment for heinous crimes.

Efforts to remove the state law making gay sex subject to criminal penalties have failed over the years — even though the courts have ruled it unconstitutional and unenforceable and advocates argue it sends a hostile message.

House Republicans stuck with their party’s platform that calls for keeping the anti-gay law.

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