Last edited: February 14, 2005

Gay Rights Case Stirring Local Interest

The Journal Times, March 27, 2003
212 4th St., Racine, WI 53403
Fax: 416-631-1702 or 634-9194

By Phyllis Sides, Journal Times

RACINE—The gay-rights case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court has stirred local interest.

Chris Semenas, a University of Wisconsin-Parkside student, said it is ridiculous that some states pass judgment on what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

“I hope they overrule the law. It’s ridiculous to outlaw the love of two people of the same sex while they don’t go into the bedrooms of heterosexual couples and regulate what they’re doing,” Semenas said.

The Rev. Tony Larsen, of Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, said he “can’t imagine why the government has any right to be in our bedrooms.”

Patrick Flaherty, of the Milwaukee Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center, said the center is hopeful the law will be overturned.

He is director of community relations at the center which provides support services to the gay, lesbian and transgender community in southeastern Wisconsin. It’s the only center of its kind in southeastern Wisconsin, Flaherty said.

“We are hopeful the court will see to it in this day and age what two adults do in private is really their business and not the government’s. We’re appalled the state of Texas is trying to prosecute these two men whose home was invaded by the police,” Flaherty said.

Patrick Huey said he is frustrated time is spent on this type of the case. Huey, who is co-owner of Flowers & Company, said he feels sorry for the men in Texas for two reasons.

“Number one because they’re accidental activists and number two the Supreme Court is rather conservatively stacked. For a gay guy it’s kind of frustrating. Thank God, we live in Wisconsin because it’s a rather progressive state,” Huey said.

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