NCSF Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on the Texas Sodomy Law

WASHINGTON DC, JUNE 26, 2003 — The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom applauds the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the Texas sodomy law. The justices voted 6-3 to overturn their 1986 decision on Bowers v Hardwick (GA), stating that the sodomy law is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and that by singling out gay people, it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

WASHINGTON DC, JUNE 26, 2003 — The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom applauds the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the Texas sodomy law. The justices voted 6-3 to overturn their 1986 decision on Bowers v Hardwick (GA), stating that the sodomy law is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and that by singling out gay people, it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
 
NCSF believes, as the court held today, that state sodomy laws violate the fundamental privacy rights of adults in the U.S. These intrusive sodomy laws regulate the right of consenting adults to engage in sexual activities such as oral and anal sex as well as playing with sex toys in their bedroom or in private venues such as swing clubs or SM playspaces. Our core constituencies require the right to privacy and equal protection in order to be free of discrimination, and because consenting adults have the fundamental right to express their private sexuality without government interference.
 
“The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime,” Justice Kennedy wrote, according to a report from The Associated Press.
 
Of the 13 states with sodomy laws, four — Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri — prohibit oral and anal sex between same-sex couples. The other nine ban consensual sodomy for everyone: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Thursday’s ruling apparently invalidates those laws as well.
 
“This ruling is a major victory for us all,” stated Eden Sarfaty, Executive Director of NCSF. “State sodomy laws, which generally define the act of sodomy as “deviant” sex, have been on the books of every state as recently as 1960. Such laws have a significant impact on society in general by attempting to legislate morality. The U.S. Supreme Court has sent a strong message today that government has no right to intrude into our private sexual lives.”