so it's actually illegal to be homosexual in Texas? - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-19-2003, 09:21 PM   #1
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so it's actually illegal to be homosexual in Texas?

or you can be homosexual, just dont engage in any sexual activities? ok, sorry if I this was already discussed somewhere, but this was being talked about on the radio today and it was the first time I had heard of it, I did a google search and there are very few features on this story, I'm not sure why that is, but I was wondering if anyone had heard which way the Supreme Court is leaning on this issue...? It's dumbfounding that laws like this are still on the books, and I'd like to hear what President Bush has to say about it.

Supreme Court Will Decide Legality of State Sodomy Laws

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court will revisit the issue of whether states can continue to prosecute homosexual men for having consensual sex in their homes.

In a case that tests the constitutionality of sodomy laws in 13 states, the justices will review the prosecution of two men under a 28-year-old Texas law making it a crime to engage in same-sex intercourse.

At issue is the constitutionality of anti-sodomy laws currently in force in a handful of states.

In 1986, the court on a 5-4 vote upheld the prosecution of two gay men under a Georgia anti-sodomy law in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick. That case focused on the right to privacy.

The Lambda Legal Defense Fund in New York, a gay-rights group, is urging the court to revisit the Bowers decision and to rule that prosecuting same-sex couples, but not heterosexuals, for sodomy violates the equal-treatment standard.

The latest case, Lawrence v. Texas, arose when two men, John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, were arrested in a Houston-area apartment in 1998 by officers who were responding to a false report of an armed intruder. Instead, police arrested the men, and they were fined $200 for having sex.

The men were charged under Texas' "homosexual conduct" law. The Texas law criminalizes "deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex."

Although only 13 states now criminalize consensual sodomy, a Texas state appeals court found the law "advances a legitimate state interest, namely, preserving public morals."

Much has changed since 1986, say gay rights supporters, including changes in public attitudes, and the fact that such laws are rarely enforced. Texas prosecutors argue government can and has the right to enforce public morality.

But the court could be faced with grappling with the issue of whether homosexual sex should be treated differently than couples engaging in heterosexual sex, and if such laws should apply to adults in the privacy of their own homes.

"The state should not have the power to go into the bedrooms of consenting adults in the middle of the night and arrest them," said Ruth Harlow of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, who is representing the two Texas men. "These laws are widely used to justify discrimination against gay people in everyday life; they're invoked in denying employment to gay people, in refusing custody or visitation for gay parents, and even in intimidating gay people out of exercising their First Amendment rights."

State sodomy laws have been on the books for a century or more, and define the act as abnormal sex, including oral and anal sex. By the time of Bowers v. Hardwick, only half the states carried criminal sodomy laws, and now only a fourth do. In a 1996 decision, Romer v. Evans, the court voted 6-3 to overturn a Colorado amendment that barred local governments from enacting ordinances to protect gays.

The Supreme Court has struggled with how much protection the Constitution offers in the bedroom. The court ruled 5-4 in 1986 that consenting adults have no constitutional right to private homosexual sex, upholding laws that ban sodomy.

Arguments in the case will be heard early next year and a decision is expected by June.

The case is: Lawrence and Garner v. Texas (No. 02-102).

http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/12/02/scotus.sodomy
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Old 02-19-2003, 10:35 PM   #2
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I would not be surprised if vintage sodomy laws were still on the books in many states and countries around the world; one thing I read about them recently is that they do not only apply to homosexual sodomy between two males, but also to "kinky" heterosexual sodomy between a male and female.

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Old 02-19-2003, 11:26 PM   #3
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*In a case that tests the constitutionality of sodomy laws in 13 states, the justices will review the prosecution of two men under a 28-year-old Texas law making it a crime to engage in same-sex intercourse.

so not only does it target homosexual males, it's a fairly new law

I remember hearing a few years ago (Georgia I think was the state) that they had finally overturned a law that stated a husband could not be prosecuted for raping his wife.

I don't know, I just think it's quite absurd to send two consenting adults to jail for what they do in the privacy of their own home. Maybe that view is too radical, I dunno...
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:43 PM   #4
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so not only does it target homosexual males, it's a fairly new law
yep. according to www.ageofconsent.com it's illegal for both men and women. this came into effect in 3/01.

it is also illegal in alabama, florida, idaho, kansas, louisiana, michigan, mississippi, missouri, north carolina, oklahoma (maybe), and south carolina. it's also been repealed and invalidated in several states.

funny, i thought it was the 21st century.
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:53 PM   #5
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Isn't bad enough that these poor guys have to live in Texas, but then to have to go through this?


What a bunch of crap! And some people will still blather on about "special rights." Must be those "special rights" that only allow prosecution of gay men for what straight men do with women. What needs to happen is a major conservative homophobe needs to be busted for sodomy with his wife. Then those laws will change fast.

Sorry to rant a bit, but this shit pisses me off!!!!
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:55 PM   #6
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:59 PM   #7
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What next...outlawing foot fettishes? How are your feet Martha?
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:59 PM   #8
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well its good to be opinionated.
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Old 02-20-2003, 12:06 AM   #9
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Isn't bad enough that these poor guys have to live in Texas, but then to have to go through this?

Hey, wait a second.....
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Old 02-20-2003, 12:23 AM   #10
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what if you have a fetish for female bassists?
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Old 02-20-2003, 12:27 AM   #11
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When I took my driver's license test here in Alabama 14 years ago, there was a state law on the books that required a motor vehicle being driven at night to have a pedestrian walk in front of it carrying a lantern, regardless of whether the vehicle had headlights. I live in the Birmingham, in the northern half of the state, and if the Eastern Shore Fire District on the Gulf Coast wishes to raise fire dues, I get to vote on the pivotal decision on the next statewide election ballot.

Fortunately, we now have a Governor who wants to reform our hundreds-of-pages 1903 post-Reconstructionist State Constitution. Unfortunately, we still have the same old crumudgeons in the state legislature who cling to this archaic document because it gives them power over people way beyond their constituent base.

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Old 02-20-2003, 12:31 AM   #12
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that reminds me of some of the pointless laws here. as far as i know, they're still laws. there's ones like it being illegal to back into your driveway (and park that way), and women not being allowed to drive on sundays i think.
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Old 02-20-2003, 12:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
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there's ones like it being illegal to back into your driveway (and park that way),
It must be really confusing for families split along the Alabama-Tennessee border; our vintage law states that it is illegal to BACK OUT OF your driveway.

In Oxford, Mississippi, (home of Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi), you can not buy cold beer in stores. You have to take it home and chill it.

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Old 02-20-2003, 01:26 AM   #14
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Hmmm...

While the imposition of both those laws seems to be infriging on people's rights to exercise their own common sense, both do have some solid root in common sense.

Backing out of your driveway: not the safest way to exit your driveway. Nor your parking spot. On the other hand, by backing into your driveway, you are in clearer command of the situation then, and when you go to leave. There is little chance you will accidentally back over someone's tricycle riding child, and even less chance that you will get clipped by the 16 year old speed demon who lives up the road who just recently got his licence and parent's car and thinks it would be cool to see if he can get the car up to 4th gear before reaching the stop sign. Also, a tip for cold weather: if you back into your driveway instead of out of it, getting a jump start in the case of a dead battery from your good samaritan neighbor becomes infinitely easier when you are already pointing nose-out to the road.

Now for the liquor. I would imagine that the principle here is that if the beer is cold, the temptation will be too much for the knucklehead who will crack one open on the road. Sounds logical to me.

Now for the topic of the thread. I do not believe the state has any place in the bedroom of two consenting adults. Unfortunately in some cases the 'issue' doesn't remain in the bedroom of two consenting adults, but that's a topic dealt with in other threads.
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Old 02-20-2003, 02:45 AM   #15
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I'd like to know who this DOESN'T piss off...

These sodomy laws are unconstitutional, and I'd like to see reactions if the moral majority were reversed... A serious problem in a democracy, but not a Republic.
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