Skip to comments.Man Involved In Landmark Gay Rights Case Dies
Posted on 09/14/2006 7:56:42 AM PDT by Borges
HOUSTON -- Tyron Garner, one of two men whose 1998 arrests led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down bans on sodomy, has died, according to a spokesman for the legal firm that represented him.
Garner, 39, died early Monday at a Houston hospital, said Mark Roy, a spokesman for Lambda Legal in New York City. Garner had been suffering from meningitis and had been in his brother's care for the past six months.
"Over the last few months, he lost the use of his legs from meningitis," Roy told The Associated Press.
Garner and John Lawrence were arrested after police -- sent by a bogus report of an armed intruder -- burst into Lawrence's apartment and found the two engaged in consensual sex. They were jailed overnight and charged with breaking Texas' Homosexual Conduct Law, which banned oral and anal sex between people of the same gender.
In its landmark June 2003 ruling, the Supreme Court said that what gay men and women do in the privacy of their bedrooms is their business and not the government's.
The 6-3 decision invalidated laws in Texas and 12 other states. It also galvanized both sides in an ongoing national debate over whether homosexuals are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals when it comes to marriage and adoption.
"Because Tyrone Garner and John Lawrence had the courage to challenge homophobic sodomy laws, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that love, sexuality and family play the same role in gay people's lives as they do for everyone else. That's a colossal legacy and one for which his community will forever be thankful," Lambda Legal's executive director Kevin Cathcart said in a statement.
Garner, who sold barbecue from a street stand, told the Houston Chronicle in 2004 that it was hard to endure the loss of his privacy.
"I didn't enjoy being outed with my mugshot on TV," he said. "It was degrading to me."
But the result was worth it, he said.
"I don't really want to be a hero," Garner said. "But I want to tell other gay people 'Be who you are, and don't be afraid."'
Wonder if the truth behind this will ever come out. The police were brought into their bedroom under false pretense, so they could 'catch' these guys engaging in sex for the sole purpose of gaining standing so they could challenge this law.
Is Meningitis often an outcome of HIV?
Anally Induced Death Sentence
Was it ever reported what phone number the call was made from?
I would say yes.
Probably AIDS related. Cancers of various kinds are de rigeur and the meningitis would be secondary to that, I suspect.
"love, sexuality and family play the same role in gay people's lives as they do for everyone else."
This is just SOOOO wrong.
Background: Different forms of meningitis are associated with HIV infection. They may be classified according to the etiologic agent as cryptococcal, tuberculous, syphilitic, or Listeria species; others are lymphomatous or aseptic.
Pathophysiology: Meningitis is multifactorial in patients with HIV/AIDS. Besides specific pathogens, autoimmune processes and HIV itself have been implicated.
Although HIV-seropositive individuals are at increased risk of certain types of meningitis, evidence suggests that they are also more likely than the general population to develop community-acquired bacterial or viral meningitides. An early form of aseptic, HIV-associated meningitis develops within days to weeks after HIV infection. It appears as a mononucleosis-like illness and is rarely associated with encephalitis. Meningitides due to cryptococcosis, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, or other fungal infection are AIDS-defining events and occur typically with very low CD4+ lymphocyte counts.
I'll bet he's hotter than he's ever been right now.
"the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that love, sexuality and family play the same role in gay people's lives as they do for everyone else."
Interesting that this poor fellow had to be cared for by his brother. His sex partner was long gone I guess. Where was the "love" and "family" in that? Why shouldn't public law foster good moral behavior?
Also, this guy Lawrence purports to have been embarrassed by his mug shot being in the papers. He didn't mention that the whole event was set up and staged, and a police report made, so that this would be a test case. What a crock.
LAW OF THE LAND
How staged sex crime
fooled Supreme Court
Landmark sodomy case faked from start, shrouded in murder mystery, says judge
Posted: October 24, 2005
By Joseph Farah
WASHINGTON Was the U.S. Supreme Court fooled by a make-believe sodomy case in Lawrence v. Texas one manufactured by homosexual activists to entrap police and ensnare the judicial system in a conspiracy to change the law of the land?
That is the compelling verdict of a new book, "Sex Appealed: Was the U.S. Supreme Court Fooled?" by Judge Janice Law.
It was in the Houston courthouse where Law presided as judge that she first heard rumors that the key figures in what became the landmark Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case actually invited arrest in a pre-arranged setup designed from the start to test the constitutionality of anti-sodomy laws.
What the journalist-turned-prosecutor-turned-judge-turned-journalist found, after interviewing most of the key players, including those in the Texas homosexual subculture that produced the case, is that the Supreme Court, possibly for the first time in history, ruled on a case "with virtually no factual underpinnings."
When the Supreme Court decided to hear the challenge to Texas anti-sodomy laws in 2002, the only facts for the high court to review were Deputy Joseph Richard Quinn's 69-word, handwritten, probable cause affidavits written within hours of the arrests of the three principals in the case Sept. 17, 1998.
There had been no trial. There had been no stipulations to facts by the state or the defendants. The defendants simply pleaded no contest at every phase of the proceedings. It was quite simply the misdemeanor dream case homosexual activists in Texas and nationwide had been dreaming about. Or had they done more than dream about it? Had they schemed about it, too?
Nearly everyone familiar with the case that set off the nation's same-sex marriage craze knows there were two defendants in the case two men, John Geddes Lawrence, 60, and Tyron Garner, 36. Forgotten, until Law's book, was a third man arrested at Lawrence's apartment that night Robert Eubanks, who was beaten to death three years before the case was heard by the Supreme Court.
It was Eubanks who took the fall for calling the police the night of the "incident." He said he was the one who placed the call reporting a man firing a gun in an apartment building. When police officers responded to the felony call, Eubanks was outside Lawrence's apartment directing police to the unit still insisting a man with a gun was threatening neighbors.
When police approached Lawrence's apartment, they found the front door open. When they entered the apartment, they found a man calmly talking on the telephone in the kitchen, also motioning to the officers to a bedroom in the rear.
Despite repeated shouts by officers identifying themselves as of sheriff's deputies from the moment they entered the Houston apartment, no one seemed surprised to see them especially not Lawrence and Garner.
The veteran police officers who entered the bedroom that night were unprepared for what they were about to see.
"You could tell me that something was happening like 'there's a guy walking down the street with his head in his hand,' and I would believe it," said Quinn, who had 13 years on the force the night he entered Lawrence's apartment. "As a police officer, I've seen things that aren't even imagined."
But what he saw that night shocked him, searing images into his mind that seem as vivid today as the day they happened.
Quinn and his fellow officers, expecting to see an armed man, perhaps holding a hostage or in a prone position ready to fire at them, instead, found was Lawrence having anal sex with Garner.
And they didn't stop despite repeated warnings from officers.
"Lawrence and Garner did not seem at all surprised to see two uniformed sheriff's deputies with drawn guns walk into their bedroom," Quinn recalls.
Quinn shouted to them to stop. They continued.
"Most people, in situations like that, try to cover up, hide or look embarrassed," explained Quinn. "Lawrence and Garner didn't look at all surprised to see us. They just kept doing it."
Finally, Quinn took action. He told them: "I don't believe this! What are you doing? Did you not hear us announce ourselves? Don't you have the common decency to stop?" But still Lawrence and Garner did not stop until Quinn physically moved them apart.
Lawrence and Garner would be booked that night for a class C misdemeanor punishable by only a fine. Eubanks was charged with filing a false police report because there were no guns found. Lawrence and Garner would become celebrity heroes of the homosexual activist movement. Eubanks would wind up beaten to death with Garner a possible suspect in a case that remains unsolved.
But who was the mystery man on the phone in the kitchen? He was never identified officially because there was no reason to charge him. Law believes his identity is key to proving the pre-meditated nature of the Lawrence case setup. And she thinks she's solved the case. Readers can be the judge.
The 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court Lawrence ruling favoring the defendants in the landmark case is the trigger event kicking away roadblocks to same-sex marriage, says Law.
The justices who voted to overturn the Texas statute and invalidate anti-sodomy laws in the rest of the U.S. were Justices Stephen Breyer, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter and John Paul Stevens. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority decision.
Those voting to uphold the Texas law were Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
If the Lawrence case were known to be a setup during the five years following the arrests, then the defendants would not have a right-to-privacy claim, and the U.S. Supreme Court probably would never hear the case.
After that historic ruling, Law decided to investigate a case that had never before been subject to any investigation. By then she was a visiting judge, sitting for judges who are on vacation or ill.
"I researched and wrote 'Sex Appealed' because I know many of the Lawrence participants, I had the time, contacts, and the journalistic background to investigate, and, as a lawyer and judge, I felt an obligation to history to find out what really happened behind the scenes in one of the most culture-altering cases in America's legal history," Law said. "I am the judge who, after the internationally publicized case was concluded at the highest level, embarked on her own investigation of rumors about the case assigned to her Texas court."
Along the way, Law is not only persuasive that Lawrence was planned from the start that police, in effect, were entrapped into witnessing a crime because the homosexual activists needed a test case but also gets support for her theory from other judges involved in the saga.
What would it mean, two years after Lawrence v. Texas, if Supreme Court justices learned they had been fooled, manipulated, played like a radio?
Did the justices know that a key witness in the case had been murdered and that one of the defendants appeared to be a key suspect?
Were they aware one of the lawyers that handled the sodomy case for Lawrence and Garner also represented Garner in the unsolved murder death of Eubanks?
How could there be an issue of privacy in a case in which police were invited, encouraged, begged to enter an apartment and directed to the bedroom where the unlawful sexual activity was taking place?
Law also finds that homosexual activists nationwide and, specifically, in Houston were actively searching for that "perfect" test case when Lawrence happened to come along.
As the U.S. Supreme Court is being reshaped through the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor and the death of William Rehnquist, some are wondering if it's possible the court could "second-guess" itself in the Lawrence ruling one that turned out to be among the most controversial decisions in years.
That's the wonder of AIDS - the gift that keeps on giving -- without it we would know so much less about all the cool rare diseases out there.
"3 million people died of AIDS in 2003, with 2.3 million people dying in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. One of the most common causes of death in AIDS patients is a very difficult to treat form of meningitis, caused by a yeast-like organism, Cryptococcus neoformans. Unlike drugs for bacterial meningitis, current treatments for cryptococcal meningitis are relatively weak and work by controlling the infection in the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain."
Probably...immune systems are prone to such, with "aids".
Maybe he got meningitis from having menincolon.
Possibly.AIDS damages...weakens...the immune system.Meningitis being either a bacterial or viral infection could,I suspect,be more common in immunocompromised individuals.
Trust me. You're not. You'll always be remembered as one of the biggest weirdos in US history. You're right down there with Jeffrey Dahmer. Don't flatter yourself.
People don't die from HIV per se, they die from infections the body can no longer defend itself from. However, people do die from meningitis without being HIV infected. Having said this, I have not personally read any papers specifically adressing this.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.