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Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban
AP via Yahoo ^ | 6/26/03 | AP

Posted on 06/26/2003 7:25:57 AM PDT by jethropalerobber

Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court struck down a ban on gay sex Thursday, ruling that the law was an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

The 6-3 ruling reverses course from a ruling 17 years ago 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. More broadly, it also tests a state's ability to classify as a crime what goes on behind the closed bedroom doors of consenting adults.

Thursday's ruling invalidated a Texas law against "deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex."

Defending that law, Texas officials said that it promoted 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: gay; homosexual; lawrence; scalia; scotus; sodomy
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Comment #121 Removed by Moderator

To: aristeides
But why does whether an act is consensual or not serve to determine whether a law against it is constitutional or not?

It doesn't (or at least, shouldn't). I was just opining on why this ruling does not seem to open the door for pedophilia ('though it does seem to create a precedent for prostitution, etc.)

122 posted on 06/26/2003 9:00:30 AM PDT by ellery
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To: Dog Gone
The legal rationale shoulod be comforting. If it were based on equal protection, it could be used as a springboard to legalize gay marriage. Since it was based on the right to privacy, it likely cannot.

P.S. - For you textualists out there, read the 9th Amendment. The Constitutional protections we enjoy are not limited to the Bill of Rights. The Founders intended ALL natural rights to be protected. Not abortion rights and the liberal prenumbra rights that were invented. But rights such as the general right to privacy and, most importantly, the right to own property. If more conservatives would take this view instead of the view of a narrow constitutional interpretation, we could render the entire welfare state unconstitutional with one swift opinion.
123 posted on 06/26/2003 9:00:42 AM PDT by Texas Federalist
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To: aristeides
Link to Scalia's dissent.

It's wonderful reading (as usual). The problem is that I doubt the people it's aimed at are smart or literate enough to get more than an uneasy impression he's lampooning them.

124 posted on 06/26/2003 9:01:02 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Dog Gone
Agreed, Dog Gone. I see an equal protection argument here, as well...but not a "privacy" one.
125 posted on 06/26/2003 9:01:53 AM PDT by ellery
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To: NewJerseyRepublican
Really, when you think about it, what's more worrisome -- the idea of two people having sex in the privacy of their own home or the government bursting in to your bedroom in the middle of the night to make sure you're only having sex with your wife and, of course, in the proper missionary position?

Do you have some illusion that that is part of the circumstance in this case? The police had (mistaken) probable cause, that the ruling here does not in any way affect their being able to pursue.

126 posted on 06/26/2003 9:03:26 AM PDT by lepton
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To: Eagle Eye
Well, what's the problem in getting rid of an ineffective, virtually unenforcable law?

See Justice Thomas' dissent. He nailed this question in a short paragraph.

127 posted on 06/26/2003 9:03:58 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Phantom Lord
I have a number of problems with legalized prostitution-
 
    First, how would you feel about a brothel opening in your neighborhood?  Personally, that's not something that appeals to me.
    Second, would you enjoy having to explain to your kids (assuming you have them) what's taking place at a brothel that's advertised or openly conducting business?
 
    However my primary opposition to it is that it dehumanizes the prostitute and I'd rather not have my country turn into a place where we turn a blind eye to or attach moral relativism to things like that.  But, hey, that's just me.
 
    To answer you question directly, I'm opposed to the two being combined.
 
   

Owl_Eagle

”Guns Before Butter.”

128 posted on 06/26/2003 9:04:01 AM PDT by South Hawthorne ("It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin.")
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Comment #129 Removed by Moderator

To: Taxbilly
The way I read it, it's based on private, consensual activities -- the assenting judges make this point again and again. Otherwise, it would also legalize serial killing and anything else one does in private. That's not to say I agree with the legal argument for this ruling -- I don't. I'm just relating why I don't think this creates precedence for pedophilia.
130 posted on 06/26/2003 9:05:15 AM PDT by ellery
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To: jimt
Oh really? ... go read what Justice Scalia has to say about the monumental paradigm shift this wrongheaded ruling unleashed!
131 posted on 06/26/2003 9:05:36 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: jethropalerobber
"The condemnation has been shaped by religious beliefs, conceptions of right and acceptable behavior, and respect for the traditional family. -Kennedy"

And now is further reinforced by understanding of causes and methods of disease transmission, and other social ills.

132 posted on 06/26/2003 9:06:44 AM PDT by lepton
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To: Eagle Eye
Well, what's the problem in getting rid of an ineffective, virtually unenforcable law?

The Problem is that the Court is not suppose to decide the effectiveness of a law but the constitutionality. If you don't like a law then change the law at the state house.

The government shouldn't be policing what CONSENTING ADULTS do in their own homes. It's called Freedom.

Interesting that you define freedom as as handful of un-elected judges overturning the laws passed by the elected representatives of the people.

133 posted on 06/26/2003 9:07:15 AM PDT by Sci Fi Guy
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To: ellery
There's no such thing as voluntary sex between an adult and a minor, as a minor cannot legally consent...

Though oddly enough, many states consider minors able to consent to have sex with other minors.

134 posted on 06/26/2003 9:07:46 AM PDT by lepton
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To: Paradox
Sounds good to me. And no, I am not a homo-loving libertine. I hate their political agenda and oppose it where I can. I am not much in favor of their social agenda either. But I cannot support the government banning behaviour between consenting adults. And yes, add in all the loony consenting behaviour that you will ("oh yeah? Well what about people who want to stick breadsticks in each others eyes to pop their eyeballs out, what about that? Huh? HUH?"), I'd say people have a right to it.

What about people who want to keep open sewage pools in their yards?

135 posted on 06/26/2003 9:10:09 AM PDT by lepton
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To: Taxbilly
The age of consent is arbitrary as proven by the differences in state laws and national laws.

Very true -- just another support for the fact that these issues belong to the states. Actually, it's no different from pornography, the definition of which legally varies from community to community. Basically, if a community wants to legalize gay marriage, etc., they should be allowed to do so. If a community wants to make sodomy illegal (as long as it's illegal for everyone - equal protection), they should be able to do that too. That's the genius of our republic. Sigh.

136 posted on 06/26/2003 9:10:12 AM PDT by ellery
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To: jethropalerobber
I'm surprised no one made an argument against legalizing sodomy for medical reasons and that it has (and still is) the catalyst for AIDS. So many of our tax dollars are WASTED on this disease that is caused by men screwing each other in this deviant way... where's THAT argument in this case????

137 posted on 06/26/2003 9:10:12 AM PDT by rocky88
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To: jayef
I am decidedly intolerant of deviant behavior that impacts all of society. Homos wish, no, DEMNAD to be perceived special based on their sexual proclivities. That's nonsense. Hate? No, disgust over human trash is more like it. Their chosen behavior is corrupting, individually and of society. I am intolerant of such deviancy.
138 posted on 06/26/2003 9:11:08 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: The Red Zone
Unfortunately the court can't add to the arguments that were brought before it. It can only choose among them.

That's not entirely true. They can't add to the case, but they can certainly add to the arguments, and regularly do so.

139 posted on 06/26/2003 9:11:38 AM PDT by lepton
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To: ellery
"did not overturn the law on this equal protection basis."

Perhaps that's for the best. Equal protection (OK for heterosexuals = OK for homosexuals) would open the door to gay marriage, yes?

140 posted on 06/26/2003 9:11:52 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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