Lawrence v. Texas


TX police received a report for an unrelated disturbance when they found two men engaged in a homosexual act.  In TX there was a law that disallowed sex between two people of the same gender.  The men were fined and sued the state of TX as a result, claiming their due process rights were violated.  The court of appeals upheld the TX statute, ruling in favor of the state.


Whether a state statute outlawing homosexual sex violates the due process clause of the 14th amendment.


Yes, reversed.  The court relied on the conglomeration of rights presumed to establish a right to privacy found in Roe v. Wade.  The implied right to privacy exists to protect individuals from undeserved government intrusion.  The court wrote that private sexual conduct is not a proper regulatable activity for the state.  To invade their privacy in this way demeans their existence and disallows the individuals from seeking out their own destiny.  In this sense, this case is not entirely about the sexual act itself, it is about what activities the state can reasonably control when people engage in any activity in the privacy of their own homes.  The court held that the private activity in one’s one home in general is a right; and the relevant law furthers no legitimate state interest in limiting such activity.  Therefore, the law is invalidated and void.

Leave a Reply