Last edited: February 14, 2005

Colorado Gay Rights Activists Support Ruling on Gay Sex

Focus on Family Says Ruling Imperils Marriage Institution

Associated Press, June 26, 2003

Colorado gay rights advocates welcomed Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a ban on gay sex, even though a law prohibiting such activity has not been on the books here since 1971.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family said the decision imperils the institution of marriage.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Texas’ ban on sodomy was an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

“This acknowledgment of our rights of privacy and equality are just another part of our place at the table,” said Julie Tolleson of Equal Rights Colorado.

She said the case was the most important for gay rights since the Supreme Court overturned Amendment 2, a statewide anti-gay rights measure approved by Colorado voters in 1992.

However, the ruling was sharply criticized by Focus on the Family, an international Christian ministry.

“The court continues pillaging its way through the moral norms of our country,” spokesman Tom Minnery said. “If the people have no right to regulate sexuality, then ultimately the institution of marriage is in peril.”

In the Texas case, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner were each fined $200 and spent a night in jail for a misdemeanor sex charge in 1998.

The ruling reverses course from a ruling 17 years ago that states could punish homosexuals for what such laws historically called deviant sex.

In 1971, Colorado became the third state to decriminalize sodomy. Four years later, the state Legislature lowered the age of consent to 15.

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