Last edited: February 14, 2005

Houston Men Arrested Under Texas Sodomy Law


For Immediate Release, November 9, 1998

Contact: Liz Tracey, Publications Manager
(212) 807-1700

Two men in Houston, Texas were arrested under that state's 119-year-old sodomy law, when they were witnessed by police having consensual sex in a private apartment where one of the men lived. The police were called to the apartment by a complainant who directed them to the apartment stating that a robbery was taking place; the complainant was subsequently charged with filing a false report. The two men were held in jail for several hours, and then released on $200 bail. They face arraignment on November 20, which could result in a maximum $500 fine. While challenges to the Texas sodomy law, which singles out same-sex acts for prosecution, have been unsuccessful, some have observed that this most recent case may be a significant challenge to the law's constitutionality. Clarence Bagby, president of the Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus stated, "We certainly hope to move this forward, and we’d love to see it move all the way up the ladder and be declared unconstitutional." In 1997, the state sodomy law was used by a Texas child protection worker to remove a three-month-old child from a foster home provided by two lesbians, saying "Homosexuality is against the law and CPS (Child Protective Services) were knowingly condoning it."

For more information, contact Clarence Bagby
Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus at (713) 521.1000.

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