Editorial: Rights Create State of Confusion
Bedroom is No Place for Government
Globe-News, December 5, 2002
P.O. Box 2091, Amarillo, TX 79166
The U.S. Constitution was created on the foundation of the rights of
However, the document that created the greatest freedoms and representation
of democracy on the planet also guarantees personal rights and liberties.
The distinction between these aspects of the Constitution are the focus of
a Texas law that infringes on personal freedoms.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider the constitutionality of a
state law that prohibits homosexual acts between consenting adults in the
privacy of their own homes.
The highest court in the nation upheld Texas’ sodomy law in 1986 by a 5-4
vote, in effect dictating to private citizens what they can and cannot do
legally in their own homes. A dozen other states have similar laws, including
The Supreme Court case stems from a 1998 Texas case in which two homosexual
men were arrested and fined $200 after pleading no contest to misdemeanor
charges of deviant sexual activity.
States have a goal of attempting to prohibit behavior deemed by many
immoral or abnormal, but laws are made to protect the public and punish the
guilty, not to dictate norms or standards to all members of society.
And as far as the constitutional aspect of such laws, government at any
level should not determine the legality of the sexual activity of private
citizens and consenting adults. Certain segments of society, or even the
majority, may frown on such behavior, but it is simply not the government’s
business to regulate private sexual activity between consenting adults that
does not harm the participants or anyone else.
Proponents of Texas’ law fear a reversal by the Supreme Court could open
the door to recognition of same-sex marriage and increase the spread of AIDS.
These are different issues.
Same-sex marriage advocates want public acceptance of their beliefs and the
related financial gain, but that does not mean their sexual lifestyle should
be considered illegal. Education is the best weapon to combat the spread of
AIDS, which should be considered a threat to heterosexuals as well as
The Supreme Court should reconsider its previous ruling, and stay out of
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