Last edited: February 14, 2005

Morality vs. Privacy Cenla Divided Over Court Ruling on Gay Sex

The Town Talk, June 28, 2003
P.O. Box 7558, Alexandria, LA 71301
Fax: 318-487-6488 Email:

By Suzan Manuel, Staff Reporter

The U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn a Texas law outlawing oral and anal sex between same-sex partners stirred opinion on both sides of the issue in central Louisiana.

While many local residents objected to the decision on religious grounds, others applauded the court for upholding privacy and civil rights issues.

“I do not think the federal government has any right to pry into personal bedrooms,” Alice Young wrote in an e-mail. “It is a violation of a person’s privacy. I’m glad the ruling was done, and I hope that Louisiana follows.”

Thursday’s ruling effectively nullified Louisiana’s anti-sodomy law, which banned oral and anal sex for both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

Alexandria resident Robert Payne took issue with the notion the ruling was about gay sex.

“It wasn’t a gay sex ruling,” he said, “it was an anal sex ruling. Gay people are not the only people that have anal sex in Louisiana.”

Payne said the court was right to strike down the law.

“I don’t care what anybody wants to do in their home,” he said. “As long as it ain’t scaring the horses, it don’t matter.”

The Rev. Jake Palmer, a Lecompte evangelist, said the ruling was a mistake.

“It’s sad when we have people that try to make this acceptable to society,” Palmer said.

Palmer said people who engage in sexual sins such as sodomy will “burn in hell. I don’t care who it is.”

“You can vote these laws into effect and you can say that it’s all right, but the bottom line is God has never accepted homosexuality,” he said.

Palmer advocated removing the judges who ruled in favor of removing the ban.

“They need to be removed from the bench because it is sending the wrong message to the children who are going to be future leaders in this country, and we can’t have that,” Palmer said.

A gay Marksville woman, who did not want her name used because she feared discrimination, said the ruling overjoyed her.

“When I heard about it, I was on the way to work. I was just hooping and hollering and honking my horn. It’s the best news I’d had in a while.”

She does not understand why others believe she and other gays should not be equal in the eyes of the law. “I don’t think I’m bothering anybody else. Why should they bother me?”

She also rejected claims that the law was fashioned to uphold morality.

“If morality is the issue, where are the laws against adultery?”

The court’s decision “signals a new era in gay rights” and provides additional privacy protections for all couples,” said Joe Cook, executive director of the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“This is a landmark case for the rights of all people who have intimate associations with others in the privacy of their homes,” Cook said.

Alexandria resident Charles Prince disagrees with the decision.

“It’s biblically wrong for same-sex marriage, same-sex cohabitation. It’s not right in the eyes of God, and I believe the Word to be right. I just think it’s wrong, and I think they should leave it alone.”

Rose Newburg said in an e-mail that she supports the court’s decision.

“Private, consensual sex is none of the government’s business,” she wrote. “We probably need some laws repealed, not more added.”

Alexandria resident Kendra Williams thinks “it’s ridiculous they even have time to talk about this.”

She supports the court’s decision. The government should stay out of the bedroom.

Allowing the government to regulate private conduct is “just like someone peeping through my window watching me have sex,” she said.

Lisa Benjamin from Alexandria agreed with the court’s decision.

“I think that anybody should be able to do what they want in their own house, gay or non-gay,” she said.

“Just because they have feelings for the same sex doesn’t mean they’re going to attack a child or anything,” she said.

Benjamin said the decision was not about legitimizing gay sex.

“It’s a privacy thing,” she said. “What they do in their home, heterosexuals do too, so what’s the difference?”

Jessie Alexander of Jonesville disagrees with the decision. She also refuses to believe that heterosexuals engage in oral and anal sex.

“Why would they do that?” she asked. “I don’t think heterosexuals have oral or anal sex. Only homosexuals do it.”

She said Thursday’s ruling was “a very bad decision because of the message it sends to the youth and children. This is a very wrong thing. It’s like them ruling that murder is OK.”

In addition to believing sodomy is a sin, Alexander said there are medical reasons to avoid oral and anal sex.

“We’re trying to kill out AIDS, but we can’t kill out AIDS if they’re OKing what brings on AIDS.”

Alexander said no one should practice sodomy, regardless of sexual orientation.

“It should be illegal for everybody,” she said. “Basically, it’s the homosexuals that do that, and that’s why the law reads that way, but it should not be for anybody.”

Natchitoches resident Sherman Wilson called the ruling “a stupid decision.”

“That type of activity is totally against the natural law of God. I feel that the participants and those judges are going to be held accountable.”

Milton Welch of Alexandria had the same opinion.

“The Supreme Court has given sinful men the right to have sex with sinful men,” he said.

“God’s going to do something to this country. They better wake up,” he said.

Robert Britt, an Alexandria resident, said, “It’s time to pray, and I mean that with all my heart.”

“The Supreme Court has just put out the welcome sign on top of the slippery slope that goes directly down,” he said.

Such rulings are “cancerous to the very foundation our nation was built upon,” he said.

Joey Martinez of Alexandria feels sodomy is wrong.

“Sodomy is a sin, period. For everybody, it is a sin, and the justice system ought to know that. That’s why we put them in the high court.”

According to Leroy Marler, the ruling is “sick.”

“The recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a state’s constitutional right to enact laws regulating deviant sexual acts between humans of all kinds is sad,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“We need a federal constitutional amendment and right now.”

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