Last edited: November 22, 2003

Letters: Sodomy Ruling Mugs Morality, Constitution and Families

The Plain Dealer, July 13, 2003
1801 Superior Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Fax: 216-999-6209

I laughed out loud when I read the Supreme Court majority ruling on homosexual sex that included the phrase, “Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct.” I’m sure that’s exactly what the framers of the Bill of Rights intended to write way back when—that last part about “intimate conduct” must’ve slipped their mind. They sure managed to fit in all the rest.

Since we’ve now placed sexual behavior on the same sacred table as those other “inalienable rights,” what about behaviors such as gambling, drug use, prostitution or adultery? Are those behavioral “liberties” now also presumed acceptable? What about consensual sex that we define as incest? If the parties involved are of age and consenting, are laws prohibiting that illegal?

Justice Antonin Scalia was right on the money when he stated that the culture war has been brought to the Supreme Court. The law used to be derived from the morals of the majority, not the agenda of the minority.

—Ronald J. Eureka, Streetsboro


In her July 2 letter to the editor, Mary K. Murray asks why anyone would celebrate the legalization of “deviate sexual intercourse.” I think the biggest reason is that gays feel we’re finally getting a fair shake.

We’ve lost too many cases that minimized the importance of our private romantic lives. We’re seeing a growing recognition that our intimate relationships are as personal and as central to our lives as any heterosexual’s.

Receiving the respect and rights that the rest of America takes for granted is truly something to celebrate.

—Matthew P. Smith, Austin, Texas


Tom Brazaitis continues to perpetuate the myth that homosexuality is due totally to genetics when he says, “. . . the court caught up with the commonsense wisdom of a majority of Americans who have come to recognize that homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice, but a variant of birth that is as natural as heterosexuality, though less common,” (“Conservatives have lost fight against gays,” Forum, July 6).

This has been debunked by the research done by J. Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard at Northwestern University in 1991. These researchers located 56 sets of identical twins. They found that if one twin was gay, only 52 percent of the time the other twin was gay also. Identical genetics, but not a 100 percent correspondence.

The nature vs. nurture debate continues. Brazaitis made a false conclusion.

—Robert J. Opalko, Middleburg Heights


In its support of the Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas law on sodomy, The Plain Dealer lead editorial “Momentous reversal” added, “states cannot legislate morality.” On the contrary, we legislate morality all the time.

We legislate against stealing. We legislate against murder. In fact, every just law imposes a moral imperative to obey the law.

Acknowledging Justice Antonin Scalia’s vigorous dissent that the same reasoning could abolish restraints on same-sex marriage, prostitution, adult incest and bigamy, The Plain Dealer said it will be “interesting to see how far the court will allow this new wave of personal freedom to wash over the shores of a nation’s prejudices.” It will be more than “interesting.” It could well be a disastrous affront to the cornerstone of American society: the family.

Does The Plain Dealer really consider restraint on prostitution, adult incest, etc., “prejudice”?

—Rev. David G. Baugh, Wickliffe

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