Ruling on Sodomy Law Shows Texas Court is Blind to Sex
San Antonio Express
News, March 30, 2001
Box 2171, San Antonio, TX 78297-2171
By M. Greenberg, San Antonio Express-News, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Texas 14th Court of Appeals defended the finest traditions of our great
state when it upheld the Texas sodomy law in a March 5 ruling.
The decision, on a 7-2 vote, has many positive implications that all Texans
For example, the court recognized that the mere dry words of the Texas and
U.S. constitutions should bow to the superior moral and legal authority of the
Texas Legislature, which is universally recognized as the wisest and most
honorable deliberative body in the history of the world.
Now, I know some observers over in Houston, where the court is based, claim
that local Republican officials pressured the all-Republican court to affirm
the sodomy law for political reasons.
In the words of columnist James J. Kilpatrick, "Tish-tush."
Um, on second thought, better make that just plain "tish." I want
to stay on the right side of the law.
Anyway, in his concurring opinion, Justice Leslie Brock Yates alluded to
the charges of political hanky-panky.
He understandably expressed dismay with the accusers for not
"crediting the members of this court with the integrity to carry out
their duties in strict accordance with the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct and
with careful consideration of the legal issues."
Indeed, every line of the majority opinion, by Justice J. Harvey Hudson,
gives evidence of sober, objective, scholarly examination of the entrails of a
pig slaughtered by the seventh son of a seventh son at midnight under a full
moon, in accordance with the highest standards of Texas jurisprudence.
By way of background, I should explain that the law in question makes
certain intimate contact illegal between two men or two women, but legal
between a man and a woman.
The court was hearing an appeal of the conviction of two Houston men who
were entertaining each other in the privacy of an apartment when the police
busted in and arrested them.
The men claimed that the Texas law violates the state and federal
constitutions by discriminating on the basis of sex.
The dissenting opinion by Justice John Sharp Anderson agreed with them, but
his opinion was so simple-minded that you sort of have to wonder how he got
through law school.
For example, Anderson cited the equal protection clause of the 14th
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says that no state may "deny to
any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Anderson interpreted that to mean that Texas isnt allowed to deny to any
person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Sheesh. Thats the sort of thinking youd expect from a Yankee.
Anderson gave an example to show how he thought the state law treated the
sexes differently, in violation of the 14th Amendment and the Texas Equal
Suppose, he wrote, Bob and Alice lawfully enjoy each others company.
Then Alice meets Cathy, and the two women do the same things that Bob and
Alice had done a little earlier.
Now Alice is breaking the law, but the only difference is that shes
making contact with a woman instead of a man -- like, say, with one of the
Texas Legislatures male members (so to speak), as God intended.
But the court majority wisely understood that the law doesnt
discriminate on the basis of sex because it applies equally to men having sex
with men and to women having sex with women.
Its like that old law against interracial marriage. It was a crime for a
white person to marry a black person, but also for a black person to marry a
white person, so everyone was treated equally and everything was hunky-dory.
Gee, whatever happened to that law?
Well, Im sure the 14th Court of Appeals will reinstate it just as soon
the opportunity arises.
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