Expresses Jubilation and Hope for the Future
June 26, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Lynchburg, VA—Leaders of Soulforce today express
jubilation at the decision by the United States Supreme Court in Lawrence
v Texas overturning Texas’s sodomy law. Until today, it had been
illegal in 13 states for same-sex couples to engage in certain types of sexual
behavior in their own homes.
The Texas case began when police responded to false report of a weapons
disturbance and busted into John Lawrence’s home. Although the police found
no weapons, they did find Mr. Lawrence with Tyrone Garner engaged in sex and
arrested them both. Texas courts found both men guilty and today’s decision
overturns those convictions.
“This is a fantastic day for all people because the Supreme Court has
recognized that our government has no place in our bedrooms, nor a right to
selectively single out people of minority sexual orientation for criminal
punishment,” said Rev. Mel White, founder and director of Soulforce, Inc.
“Maybe some churches that alienate and degrade us will see the light after
today as well.”
Soulforce, a national interfaith organization dedicated to ending spiritual
violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, signed on to
an amicus curiae brief filed by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund urging
the Court to strike down the Texas law as it did today.
Today decision overturned both the Texas court decision in Lawrence v.
Texas and the1986 Supreme Court decision in the Bowers v Hardwick case
that upheld Georgia sodomy laws. According to CNN, the late Justice Lewis
Powell, the deciding vote in the Bowers decision, later said he probably made
a mistake with his decision on that case. Today’s decision corrected that
“I’m free, I’m free, I am no longer a criminal for who I love, I am
free to be who God created me to be,” said Karen Weldin, Soulforce Director
of Operations. “I hope this gives people hiding in the closet the sense of
freedom and courage to come out and be proud of who they are and who they
Soulforce, a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual
violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender (GLBT). We teach and employ the principles of
nonviolence as taught by Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual
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