Equal, Private: High Court Should Strike Down Texas Sodomy Law
State Journal, March 27, 2003
120 E. Lenawee St., Lansing, MI 48919
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Thirty-seven states have either repealed their sodomy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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