Log Cabin Files Brief in Texas Sodomy Case
January 9, 2003
Gay political group Log Cabin Republicans and its sister organization, the
Liberty Education Forum, announced Wednesday that they will file an amicus
brief with the U.S. Supreme Court concerning Lawrence v. State of Texas,
according to a press release from Log Cabin. The case challenges Texas’s
Homosexual Conduct Law, which criminalizes oral and anal sex between
consenting gay adults.
"The liberties guaranteed to all Americans by the United States
Constitution mean that no state should have the power to enter the home of
consenting adults in the middle of the night and arrest them for simply being
gay or lesbian," said Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero.
"The court was wrong in 1986, and it now has the opportunity to fix that
In 1986 the Supreme Court ruled in Bowers
v. Hardwick that Georgia’s law banning consensual sodomy did not
violate fundamental privacy rights under the Constitution. Since that time,
many states (including the state of Georgia) have repealed their sodomy laws,
or the laws have been found unconstitutional on state constitutional grounds.
Seldom enforced, these laws have been used as an excuse to deny equal rights
to gays and lesbians in civil and administrative matters.
The Log Cabin-Liberty brief argues that Texas’s Homosexual Conduct Law
violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Under the Equal
Protection Clause, all legislation must be rationally related to a legitimate
governmental purpose. Since the court’s decision in Romer v. Evans in
1996, the court has held that community "morality" against
homosexuality could not constitute a "legitimate governmental
purpose." In Lawrence v. State of Texas, morality is the only
reason the state of Texas has given to justify the Homosexual Conduct Law.
In addition to Texas, three other states—Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma—continue
to have consensual anti-sodomy laws that apply only to same-sex couples. Nine
states—Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Virginia, and Utah—still have consensual sodomy laws that
apply to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
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