Last edited: February 14, 2005

Texas Judge Who Opposed State Sodomy Law Is Retiring

The Advocate, February 6, 2001

A judge on the Texas court of appeals who enraged fellow Republicans by voting against the state’s sodomy law in a decision last year plans to retire next month, two years before his term is scheduled to end, the Houston Chronicle reports. Paul Murphy, chief justice of the 14th circuit Texas court of appeals, said the sodomy ruling plays no role in his decision to step down. He said that an increased case load and poor pay led to his decision. "Serving as a member of the judiciary has been a rewarding and challenging experience, if not frustrating at times," Murphy said. Last June Murphy and Judge John Anderson ruled that the state law banning gay sex violates the state constitution. Another judge, J. Harvey Hudson, dissented. One week after the ruling, the Republican Party of the state attacked Murphy and Anderson in the party platform and called on members to oppose their reelection. The party, which supports the sodomy law, also publicly rebuked the two judges. Anderson was reelected without opposition last November, after the party was unable to recruit an opponent. The sodomy ruling is being appealed by the state. When asked about Murphy’s retirement, Texas Republican Party spokesman Ted Royer told the paper, "I don’t think we will add any comment; I think we will just let the actions speak for themselves."

[Home] [News] [Texas]