Last edited: February 14, 2005
Court Hears Challenge to Texas Sodomy Law
November 5, 1999
Two men arrested in their own bedroom for having
sex appeared in a Houston court Wednesday to challenge their conviction for sodomy. John
Lawrence and Tyrone Garner were arrested last year for violating the state law that bans
same-gender sexual activity. The pair were convicted and ordered to pay a $125 fine.
Lawrence and Garner were arrested after a neighbor with whom they had been fighting phoned
in a false report to police of an armed man acting erratically in Lawrences home.
"All Texans should have the right to privacy to do whatever they wish in their
bedrooms with another consenting adult," said Ruth Harlow, an attorney for Lambda
Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay group representing Lawrence and Garner. A brief
filed in support of the sodomy law by the state said that "Texas courts have held
that morality and the promotion of family values are legitimate governmental interests
justifying exercise of the state police powers."
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