‘Crime Against Nature’

In looking up the original story by WCNC about the pastor in North Carolina who allegedly tried to solicit an undercover male police officer for sex, I read, “Graff is charged with crimes against nature…”

Say what? “Crimes against nature?” Could such a thing actually exist in modern books of statutes?

I looked up the statutes for North Carolina. Sure enough:

Article 26.
Offenses against Public Morality and Decency.
§ 14‑177. Crime against nature.
If any person shall commit the crime against nature, with mankind or beast, he shall be punished as a Class I felon.

You may read the entire Article 26 if you wish. It is a mixture of justified prohibitions rooted in objective law and and entirely non-objective, ambiguous, and even outright silly prohibitions. Statute 14-196(a)(1) offers another outstanding example of this latter category: “It shall be unlawful for any person [t]o use in telephonic communications any words or language of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious or indecent character, nature or connotation.” And I thought Colorado’s statutes were pathetic.

Incidentally, the entire Article 27 is devoted to prostitution.

There is no such thing as a real “crime against nature.” Apparently the legislators of North Carolina missed this fact, but nature possesses no consciousness, and thus cannot be offended. Of course, “nature” in this context is euphemism for “God,” and the statute is rooted in religious bigotry against homosexuals.