Ban On Gay Sex Voided By Supreme Court

Print More

http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SCOTUS_SODOMY?SITE=MOSTP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=KICIFPBL1GWYOCRBAELCFFA?type=topNews&storyID=2994949

The Texas law prohibiting gay sex was struck down by the Supreme Court today as an unconstitutional violation of privacy, the Associated Press says. The 6-3 ruling reverses a 1986 high court ruling that states could punish homosexuals for what such laws historically called deviant sex.

The case is a major reexamination of the rights and acceptance of gay people in the United States. It also tests a state’s ability to classify as a crime what goes on behind the closed bedroom doors of consenting adults. The new ruling specifically invalidated a Texas law against “deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.”

Texas officials argued that the law pomoted the institutions of marriage and family, and argued that communities have the right to choose their own standards.

The law “demeans the lives of homosexual persons,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority. “The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime,” he said.

Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer agreed with Kennedy in full. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor agreed with the outcome but not all of Kennedy’s rationale.

Dissenter Antonin Scalia said that the court majority “has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda.” He added that “The court has taken sides in the culture war.”

Reuters says the 30-year-old Texas “homosexual conduct” law at issue in the case makes it a crime for same-sex couples to engage in “deviate sexual intercourse,” defined as oral and anal sex, even if it is consensual and occurs in the privacy of a person’s bedroom. Violators face a maximum punishment of a $500 fine.

The ruling will invalidate sodomy laws in 13 states. Besides Texas, they are Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Link:

Comments are closed.