Last edited: February 14, 2005

Perry Calls Sodomy Law ‘Appropriate’

Associated Press, December 4, 2002

AUSTIN—The Texas law that bans homosexual sex is "appropriate," Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would decide a Texas case that asks if it is unconstitutional for states to punish same-sex couples for having sex.

"I think our law is appropriate that we have on the books," Perry said.

The court will review the prosecution of two Houston men under a 28-year-old Texas law that makes it a crime to engage in same-sex intercourse.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in 1986 that consenting adults have no constitutional right to private homosexual sex, upholding laws that ban sodomy.

Sodomy laws, which ban oral or anal sex, once existed in every U.S. state but have been thrown out in most. Nine states ban consensual sodomy for everyone: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

In addition, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma punish only homosexual sodomy.

The Texas case involves John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were arrested in 1998 in Lawrence’s apartment, jailed overnight and later fined under Texas’ Homosexual Conduct Law, which classifies anal or oral sex between two men or two women as deviate sexual intercourse.

The Supreme Court was told the convictions would prevent the men from getting certain jobs, and would in some states require them to register as sex offenders.

They were arrested after police responded to a false report of an armed intruder in Lawrence’s apartment, called in by an acquaintance of the men. Police entered the unlocked apartment and found the men having sex.

Sodomy Law Makes No Sense

Houston Chronicle, December 6, 2002

The Chronicle’s Dec. 4 article, "Perry calls sodomy law ‘appropriate’," reported on Gov. Rick Perry’s galling and archaic position on Texas’ sodomy law. What possible sense could there be in locking up law-abiding, tax-paying citizens?

Does the governor really think that gay men and women who get up and go to work on a daily basis, sort out their relationship problems, raise their families, attend church, pay taxes, buy groceries and spend their evenings watching television like most other U.S. citizens really deserve to be locked up for being born with a different sexual orientation than heterosexuals?

His arrogance is frightening.

What if for just one day the reverse were true and heterosexuals were considered criminals because of "aberrant behavior"?

To criminalize private, loving relationships strips us all of protection and demeans humanity in the process.

Ron Gilmore, Houston

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