Republican Unity Coalition Files Supreme Court Brief Challenging Texas
RUC, Joined by Former Senator Alan Simpson, Urges U.S. Supreme Court to
Declare Texas’ "Homosexual Conduct" Law Unconstitutional
Republican Unity Coalition, January 17, 2003
Charles Francis, Co-chairman
Washington, DC—The Republican Unity Coalition today
filed an amicus ("friend of the Court") brief in the United States
Supreme Court arguing that the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" Law is
unconstitutional. Retired Senator Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.) joined the RUC’s
challenge to the Texas law.
The Supreme Court announced last December that it would hear Lawrence v.
Texas, challenging the constitutionality of Texas’ "Homosexual
Conduct" law, which criminalizes "sodomy" between consenting
adult gay couples, even in the privacy of their own home. In Texas, the same
sexual conduct is legal for heterosexuals. John Lawrence and Tyron Garner were
arrested in Lawrence’s Houston home and jailed overnight after officers,
responding to a false report from a neighbor, found the men engaged in
private, consensual sex.
Charles Francis, co-chairman of the RUC said: "The RUC has filed this
brief to make one simple point: we want gay Americans to be treated like all
other Americans, subject to neither special preferences nor special
disabilities. This case is not about the expansion of special rights or
entitlements. Rather, it is about the unabashedly conservative commitment to
our society’s fundamental value of equality before the law as enshrined in
The RUC brief argues that Lawrence and Garner’s convictions violated the
Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection of the laws. In this case,
the RUC argues Texas’s asserted claim of preserving public morality is
insufficient to deny one class of citizens, but not others similarly situated,
a life of physical affection and intimacy.
The RUC was joined in its brief by the Honorable Alan K. Simpson, U.S.
Senator (Ret.) Wyoming, who served 18 years in the United States Senate before
retiring in 1997. Senator Simpson’s interest in the litigation is that he
supports the principle of equality before the law, regardless of an individual’s
The RUC brief was written by Erik Jaffe, a former law clerk for Justice
Clarence Thomas, who is now an appellate attorney in Washington, D.C. (http://www.esjpc.com/).
Assisting Jaffe on the brief was Dale Carpenter, a professor of constitutional
law at the University of Minnesota Law School.
The Republican Unity Coalition (http://www.republicanunity.com/)
is a national organization of Republicans, both straight and gay, committed to
making sexual orientation a "non-issue" within the Republican Party
and throughout the nation.
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