Magazine article National NOW Times

Supreme Court Reviews Anti-Lesbian and Gay Law

Magazine article National NOW Times

Supreme Court Reviews Anti-Lesbian and Gay Law

Article excerpt

Imagine being arrested, jailed and prosecuted for having consensual sex with your partner. Imagine a government that dictates what you do in your own home as legal or illegal based on who you love. Maybe this sounds a little like George Orwell's 1984, but it's a brutal reality for same-sex couples across the country. Sodomy laws outlaw sex between people of the same gender and still exist on the books in thirteen states.

Most sodomy laws have been repealed since the 1960s, but those still in effect perpetuate homophobia and offer backwards legal justification for discrimination against gay communities.

Though ten of the states with sodomy laws criminalize oral and anal sex between people of opposite as well as same sex, the bans are used primarily as a tool of discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons. The states which have yet to repeal sodomy laws are: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The constitutionality of sodomy laws has come into question in a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Argued before the Court on March 26,2003, Lawrence v. Texas challenges Texas' sodomy law, which makes it a crime for gay couples to engage in sexual acts that are legal for heterosexual couples. The case began in 1998, when Houston police responded to a false report of someone "going crazy" at the home of John Lawrence and Tyron Garner. Police forced their way in and found the two have having sex in their bedroom. …

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