Last edited: November 09, 2003

Texas Sodomy Law Struck Down

Focus on the Family, June 27, 2003

By Stuart Shepard, correspondent

A muddled decision from the U.S. Supreme Court undermines marriage in America and opens the door to striking down other laws.

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Texas law against homosexual sodomy. That decision will likely have a significant impact on other laws concerning sex outside of marriage and possibly marriage itself.

As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority: “Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct.”

Ruth Harlow, the Lambda Legal Foundation attorney who argued the case before the court, calls that “a giant leap forward for gay Americans.”

“We don’t have any problem with individuals making their own choices and having their own religious views, but in our country a minority of individuals cannot dictate those views for the whole country,” Harlow said.

Peter LaBarbera, with the Culture and Family Institute, said the ruling was “the Roe v. Wade of the homosexual activist movement”—referring to the 1973 decision that legalized abortion.

LaBarbera advised us to pay special note that gay leaders were using words such as “historic” and “watershed” in describing the decision.

“When you hear homosexual activists using all these superlatives, you need to be very, very wary, because the homosexual roadmap is gay ‘marriage,’ and nothing short of it,” LaBarbera said.

Jordan Lorence, a senior litigator with the Alliance Defense Fund, said if there’s any good news, it’s that the court built on a supposed right to privacy rather than the equal protection clause.

“What the other side would have gotten with the equal-protection clause would have been a decision that would have been a much clearer shot at attacking marriage laws, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ that type of thing,” Lorence said.

He said the decision underscores the need for a federal marriage amendment.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Scalia wrote that the decision calls into question state laws against everything from bigamy and same-sex marriage to incest and prostitution.

As recently as 1986 the Supreme Court could not find a right to privacy regarding sodomy.

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