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Anti-sodomy defender Bowers admits to adulterous affair

Former Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers June 5 admitted to a ten-year adulterous affair while he held the office. Bowers, a candidate for next year's gubernatorial race, called himself a "hypocrite" after admitting to the affair.

Bowers has been associated with some controversial cases involving consensual relations between adults during his tenure as Attorney General. In 1986, he defended the state's anti-sodomy law before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving a man who was arrested for having sex with another man. The court upheld the Georgia law.

Five years later, Bowers rescinded an offer for a position of staff attorney to a lesbian because she was planning to have a religious "marriage" ceremony with her partner. In connection with that case, a week ago, the Eleventh Circuit of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Bowers had the authority to fire Robin Shahar on the grounds that her employment could jeopardize the department's ability to uphold the law.

Adultery is considered a misdemeanor under Georgia law. When he was asked this morning in an interview with the Associated Press if it was hypocritical for him to take back the job offer to Shahar he responded that morally it was but that legally he saw no alternative.

"Michael Bowers sets the double standard. He is the perfect example of a government official who interprets laws one way for himself and differently for the people he is elected to serve" said Kerry Lobel, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director. "Could Bowers himself have stood up to the scrutiny that he imposed on Hardwick and Shahar?" Lobel asked.


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