Last edited: January 02, 2005

Log Cabin Republicans Applaud Supreme Court Decision

LCR/LEF Filed Amicus Brief in this Matter

The Log Cabin Republicans, June 26, 2003
For immediate release

CONTACT: Public Affairs Mark Mead 202-347-5306 ext. 112 mobile 202-297-5026

WASHINGTON—The Log Cabin Republicans, and its sister organization the Liberty Education Forum, applaud the historic decision today by the United State Supreme Court overturning the Texas sodomy statute by a vote of 6-3.

Patrick Guerriero, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans and president of the Liberty Education Forum said, “Today’s historic victory marks a new chapter for gay and lesbian civil rights in America. We are one step closer to realizing fairness and equality for gay and lesbian members of the American family. Log Cabin and the Liberty Education Forum were proud to offer a Republican and centrist argument in favor of the overturning of these un-American laws in our amicus brief.”

The case involved John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were arrested in Lawrence’s Houston home and jailed overnight after officers, responding to a false police report. found the men engaged in private, consensual sex. Once convicted of violating the Texas law against sodomy, they were forced to pay fines and are now considered sex offenders in several states. Texas’s law and others like it are widely used to justify discrimination against gay people in everyday life; they’re invoked in denying employment to gay people, in refusing custody or visitation for gay parents, and even in intimidating gay people out of exercising their First Amendment rights.

“This is a fair-minded and and historic decision that impacts gays and lesbians in all 50 states. This ruling makes clear what we have known all along, the conduct that is legal for some people should not be illegal for gay Americans,” said Guerriero.

“The enormous importance of this law being overturned is that it will not only provide protection for the few who find themselves prosecuted for consensual intimacy but that it also provides protection for those who face discrimination that has been justified by these laws” Guerriero added.

“Great credit must also be given to Lamda Legal, their tenacious efforts for fairness and equality have resulted in this landmark ruling,” concluded Guerriero. .

Log Cabin Legal Analysis of Ruling

Supreme Court Overturns Bowers v. Hardwick

Log Cabin Republicans Press Release, June 26, 2003
Additional Press Statement
For immediate release
Contact: Public Affairs Mark Mead 202-347-5306 ext. 112
mobile 202 297 5026

WASHINGTONIn a landmark decision, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in Lawrence v. State of Texas, overturned it’s 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, and abolished all sodomy laws in the United States. Six of the nine justices agreed that precedent existed to overturn Bowers v. Hardwick, and while Justice Clarence Thomas did not join the majority, he wrote that if he “were a member of the Texas Legislature, [he] would vote to repeal [such laws].”

The amici brief filed by the Log Cabin Republicans and the Liberty Education Forum specifically asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Bowers v. Hardwick, arguing that “[t]he Court can no longer deny that the privacy protections generally afforded the American family must necessarily protect too their rights to intimate association without eviscerating the privacy protections for all other American families. All of this demands that the Court re-examine its holding in Bowers and strike down laws such as the Texas law at issue as an unjustified state intrusion into the private lives of American citizens, an assault on the concept of ordered liberty and a violation of the U.S. Constitution.” The U.S. Supreme Court agreed.

Upon reading the decision, C. Martin Meekins, Log Cabin Republican and Liberty Education Forum’s attorney for their amici brief, who resides in the Los Angeles office of White & Case, said, “The Log Cabin Republicans and Liberty Education Forum should be proud of its first foray in the legal battle of civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. It is rare indeed in American jurisprudence for the U.S Supreme Court to reverse itself and today the Court expressly did so after just 17 years. This decision is a clear victory. For gay and lesbian Americans, the Court has ruled that states cannot ‘demean their existence or control their destiny [by] making their private sexual conduct a crime.’ For all Americans, this decision is a victory because it affirms that the promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter. Given the focus of the LCR/LEF amici brief, we are delighted by today’s outcome and the basis upon which it was decided.”

Meekins added, “Justice Thomas, who has long-held the opinion that the right to privacy does not exist in the U.S. Constitution, predictably voted with the minority. However, it was admirable for Justice Thomas to think this case so important to add a dissent to say that a law such as this is ‘uncommonly silly’ and that he would vote to repeal such a law if he were a member of the Texas Legislature. This means our amici brief, directly aimed at the more conservative members of the Court, was heard and the court acknowledges that gay and lesbians are equal members of the American family.”

Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans and president of the Liberty Education Forum, added, “We are proud that the Supreme Court reversed itself, and did so on the grounds we argued in our amici brief. Liberty for all Americans, both heterosexual and homosexual, is stronger today because of the courage two men in Texas had to fight against legal precedent. We salute Messrs. Lawrence and Garner for that courage, the Lambda Legal Defense Fund for their leadership, our lawyers for their insightful scholarship, and the U.S. Supreme Court for admitting past mistakes. Today will be looked upon as a watershed event for gay and lesbian civil rights.”

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s largest gay Republican organization, with state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee.

Liberty Education Forum is a centrist think tank in Washington that offers new perspectives on gay and lesbian issues.

[Home] [News] [Lawrence v. Texas]