Last edited: February 22, 2005

San Antonio Gay Community Reacts to Supreme Court Decision

News9, June 26, 2003
San Antonio, Texas

In a six to three vote, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a long standing ban in Texas against gay sex.

The landmark decision ruled laws against sodomy were an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

Several local members of the gay community reacted strongly to the news.

“The victors today are not only the members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, but all adults throughout the nation engaged in legal and consensual relationships,” Director of Gay and Lesbian Community Center Martin Herrera said.

For Herrera, this is a moment to celebrate and look ahead.

Herrera chose to publicly voice his feelings against discrimination. He was joined on the steps of City Hall by other members of the San Antonio gay and lesbian community. They applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn laws that prohibit gay sex in Texas.

“The Supreme Court has done the right thing, but we can not end here—we need to go forward,” Esperanza Center board member Michael Marienz said.

Herrera knows discrimination well. He moved to San Antonio from Los Angeles while he was still a member of the army. At the time, he chose to keep his sexual identity hidden.

After suffering an injury, Herrera was medically discharged from the army. He turned to his faith for inspiration.

“I have a belief in God and I know there are trials here on earth and it’s not an easy walk,” Herrera said. “I just look at it as my personal trials that I have to go through as a person here on earth.”

Herrera began offering his support to other gays and lesbians in the community.

He is now a counselor for people who are trying to come to terms with their sexuality.

Herrera is hoping the court ruling will shed new light on the public’s perception of gay people. He believes the jurisdiction of government should end at the bedroom door.

“It is a matter of equal liberty,” Herrera said. “Just as it has won today, will it win tomorrow.”

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