Last edited: February 13, 2005

Texas Sodomy Case Celebration at 5 pm on Day of Decision

The Texas Sodomy Law is GOING DOWN! (pun intended).

From "billyelliot1", June 14, 2003

The US Supreme Court is going to issue a decision in the Lawrence/Garner v. Texas case soon. It could be this MONDAY. (The Supreme Court usually issues its decisions on Mondays and we expect the release of the Lawrence decision on a Monday this month. We just do not know which Monday.)

On whatever Monday the decision is released, there will be a BIG rally at Houston City Hall at 5:00 p.m. (Near the corner of Smith Street and Walker.) I hope many of you will be able to go. (I stumbled upon a similar celebration rally after the decision in Romer v. Evans back in the 1900s and it was such an awesome event.)

Lawrence & Garner v. Texas is the biggest gay rights case of our generation. Most of us are expecting a victory, but even if itís a loss, there will still be a rally (itíll just be a protest instead of a celebration).

Mitchell Katine, the lawyer who represented John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, will be there with his clients, on the steps of the City Hall. Cities all over America are planning rallies for that day, but we get to have the two brave men who started it all, right here with us! I saw John Lawrence and Tyron Garner together in public yesterday for the first time, at the State Bar of Texas annual meeting (the meeting of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Issues section) and then at a Lambda Legal Defense and Education rally at Meteor last night. They have mostly stayed out of the public eye throughout this case (except when they were first arrested in the middle of the night back in 1998 and their pictures were plastered all over the news and tv saying they were arrested for having homosexual sex!!) Mr. Lawrence & Mr. Garner got standing ovations from crowds at both places!

The State of Texas and some right-wing antigay folks have tried to imply that the case was a set-up, that nobody ever gets arrested for having gay sex, so somehow Lawrence & Garner WANTED and TRICKED the police to break in, arrest them, hold them in jail more than 24 hours, and publicly ďoutĒ them nationwide! (The people who believe that are the people who are inclined to believe every bad thing about gays, including that we eat children and feces.)

The fact is, when the police broke in and did not find the armed intruder they were looking for, they could have apologized and left. The police didnít have to arrest John and Tyron. Even after they were arrested, the prosecutor could have dropped the charges. And the state could have chosen not to appeal the case when the men objected it was unconstitutional. Instead, the state has spent THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of your tax dollars to defend a law its lawyers and representatives know is unconstitutional. Why? Because it makes them popular, ensures their reelection, and/or satisfies their own antigay prejudice.

The same thing is true of many of the cowardly/self-serving, politically motivated Texas judges who involved themselves in the case, most of whom voted to uphold this lawóbut not Justice John Anderson and former Chief Justice Paul Murphy of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals. Anderson and Murphy were true to their oaths of office and our Constitution. They reviewed the case objectively and found it did not meet the requirements of equal protection for every one. Unfortunately, the Republican Party got involved and threatened the judges, and so later the rest of the 14th Court overruled them in a rarely used procedure.

Okay, well I feel strongly about this case and admire tremendously Mr. Lawrence & Mr. Garner, who have fought back for the last five years, when they could have just paid the $200 fine instead and swept this all under the rug and allowed Texas to continue to use the Homosexual Conduct law to brand all gays and lesbians as criminals, to take away our kids, to deny us employment, and to limit our free speech and other rights. Oh, if they had accepted the guilty plea, both of the them would be deemed sex offenders and have to register for life, etc., etc.

DONíT FORGETólisten to the news on Mondays, and whatever day the decision is announced, GO TO CITY HALL. Be there before 5 so you donít miss a thing. Bring your cameras. You will be making history.

If you have any questions, please call or e-mail Mitchell Katine:
Mitchell Katine
Williams, Birnberg & Andersen L.L.P.
6671 Southwest Freeway, Suite 303
Houston, Texas 77074-2284
Office Phone: (713) 981-9595
Office Fax: (713) 981-8670
Cell Phone: (832) 444-8274
mkatine @ (take out the spaces)

P.S. In the meantime, while waiting for the Supreme Court decision, check out PFLAGís awesome site. When the decision comes own, celebrate freedom by submitting your high-school age photo! (Itís anonymous and helps show others they are not alone.)

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