Resolution Calls for Repeal of Sodomy Law
Decision Seeks to Lift Ban on Gay Sex Acts
January 15, 2003
P.O. Box D, Austin, TX 78713
By Lauren Reinlie, Daily Texan Staff
Student Government voted Tuesday in a 33-1 decision to call for the Texas
State Legislature to repeal the Homosexual Conduct Law.
The resolution, authored by Bobby Apperson, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, Ally Affairs Agency SG representative, calls for the repeal of
Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code which makes acts of anal and oral sex
illegal for same sex partners in Texas.
The resolution calls for the University to continue to refrain from using
section 21.06 to discriminate against Texans. It also recommends that UT
Medical Branch in Galveston should not deny condoms or dental dams to inmates.
Apperson said University Health Services provides safe sex information for
same sex and bisexual people, which is technically a violation of the law.
"UHS and any publicly funded health centers could have their materials
confiscated in the eyes of the current law," Apperson said. "UHS
would be no different if they were distributing information on how to grow
marijuana. They are still doing something illegal."
Apperson said 21.06 is used to discriminate against homosexuals because
they are considered criminals under Texas law. He said this law is personally
affecting him as he begins to apply for jobs.
"I am having to draft two types of resumes," Apperson said.
"One is my big gay resumé, and one will have to be toned down because
you can be considered a criminal if it is found out that you are gay. The
statute is used to make people second class citizens."
Chris Vaca, two-year at-large SG representative, spoke to the assembly
about how Section 21.06 affects the student body. He said he was contacted by
five professors last semester who were interested in teaching at the
University, but rescinded after it was disclosed that the University does not
provide domestic partner benefits in part due to Section 21.06.
The resolution states that 35 states and Washington, D.C., have repealed
their sodomy laws altogether, and Texas is one of four states where the sodomy
laws apply only to homosexuals.
The resolution also states that the statute is used as justification to
deny gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals equal access to
housing, adoption, employment, health care and education throughout Texas,
including housing and health care at the University.
The United States Supreme Court is currently awaiting a hearing on Lawrence
and Garner v. Texas, which challenges Section 21.06. Apperson said it is
important for the legislation to know that their constituents do not expect
the law makers to wait for the Supreme Court decision, which could take years,
but instead want section 21.06 to be repealed now.
Apperson plans to hand deliver the resolution to legislators at the Texas
State Capitol as well as forward the resolution to President Bush.
Thomas Beard, RTF junior who attended the meeting and spoke during open
forum, said he hopes the resolution will serve as a message to Texas
"I think if any of the legislators listen to their constituency, they
should respond to UT students—a group of over 50,000 students from all over
the state," he said.
No one spoke in opposition to the resolution at the meeting.
Ashley Rosenthal, a liberal arts representative and the lone dissenter,
said she did not have enough information about Section 21.06 to vote for the
bill and did not want to abstain.
The resolution was presented at the Dec. 3 SG meeting, which Rosenthal said
she had to leave early for academic reasons and therefore did not have time to
research the resolution.
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