Last edited: February 06, 2005

Equal, Private: High Court Should Strike Down Texas Sodomy Law

Lansing State Journal, March 27, 2003
120 E. Lenawee St., Lansing, MI 48919
Fax: 517-377-1284

Since 9-11, some Americans are more willing to let government pry into their lives as a check against terrorism.

Just how far are we willing to let authorities snoop around? Into our bedrooms? We think not.

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court has nothing to do with terrorism, but a great deal to do with our right of privacy. And even more with citizensí expectation of being treated equally under the law.

The high court is to decide if a Texas law forbidding gay couples from having sex is constitutional.

We believe that law and laws like it are unconstitutional. The court, which heard arguments in the case Wednesday, should strike down the law.

Thirty-seven states have either repealed their sodomy laws or had the statutes blocked by the courts. In states where the laws still exist, including Michigan, they are usually ignored. (Note: Some sodomy laws are aimed at both homosexuals and heterosexuals.)

There are no sodomy police peeping through windows, thank goodness. But the Supreme Court should nonetheless strike down the Texas law, because people ARE sometimes prosecuted.

In 1998, Houston police responding to a report of a disturbance (a criminally false report, it turns out) found two men having sex. The men were arrested and charged.

If police had found a man and woman engaged in sodomy, itís extremely doubtful they would have been arrested.

An ostensible reason for sodomy laws is they are necessary to uphold moral standards and preserve the family structure. But using that rationale, states should be a lot tougher on adulterers, since adultery (extramarital sex) is a bigger threat to the family structure than sex between two people who cannot legally marry.

Unfortunately, sex may muddle the key points of the case. This isnít about whoís having sex with whom. Itís about our rights of privacy and equal protection. The high court must affirm those rights.

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