Reactions to Court Ruling
KXAN-TV, June 26, 2003
Hours after five of nine Supreme Court justices
overturned the Texas sodomy law, celebrations started right here in Austin.
There is a rally downtown scheduled for Thursday night.
Organizers expect about 1,000 ralliers to show up for celebrations at Republic
The gay community cheers as the end of an era and for a
day they say the justices came out on their side
“Basically I was seen as a criminal because I was a gay
man in the state of Texas,” Randall Ellis with the Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby
“If you haven’t been accused of being a criminal,
that may be hard to understand,” Austinite Bettie Naylor said.
But now Austinites who understood the reality of the
decades old Texas homosexual conduct law are celebrating a U.S. Supreme Court
“No longer can law enforcement or the government come
rushing into our bedrooms and rip us out for engaging in consensual sex with
people of the same sex,” Ellis said. “Now that the Texas sodomy law is
struck down, you can do it legally. Had it gone the other way it would be a
phrase of defiance.”
“I think the case is important. There are at lease 17
other states that will be impacted by the Supreme Court decisions today,”
Representative Jack Stick, R-Austin, said.
“I’m free. I’m free at last. But what I’m really
excited about is how this will propel our movement forward,” Ellis said.
“By removing criminality from my relationship, no longer can homophobia and
discrimination be justified at the state level here.”
“I don’t see how the Supreme Court ruling today is
going to make any impact on issues of foster parent or adoption or really any
other law certainly that the Texas House would consider,” Stick said.
“We come together as a people now grateful,” Ellis
While Stick may not believe the decision will make much
difference, some folks disagree and celebrate the moment it seemed five of
nine high court justices learned what some of their loved ones already knew.
“I have grandchildren and they know it’s OK. They
still like Granny,” Austinite Bettie Naylor said.
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