Truth in Action, one of the worst of the anti-gay hate groups on the Christian Right, is still upset that the Supreme Court overturned state sodomy laws in 2003 in Johnson v Texas because they think gay people should still be thrown in prison for their “crimes.”
Prior to 1962, sodomy was a felony in every state in the union. But by 2003, only 13 still had such laws on their books. These were finally swept away as well when the Supreme Court struck down the Texas anti-sodomy law in its 6-3 decision, Lawrence v. Texas.
This decision was a stunning reversal of the Court’s earlier proclamation in Bowers v. Hardwick that “in constitutional terms there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy.”
In the majority opinion in the 1986 Bowers decision, Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote:
Decisions of individuals relating to homosexual conduct have been subject to state intervention throughout the history of Western civilization…. Condemnation of those practices is firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards. … [Sir William] Blackstone described ‘the infamous crime against nature’ as an offense of “deeper malignity” than rape, a heinous act “the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature” and “a crime not fit to be named.”
“To hold that the act of homosexual sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental right,” Justice Burger averred, “would be to cast aside millennia of moral teaching.”
Well yes, it was. And Loving v Virginia also cast aside millennia of moral teaching. So did ending slavery. And allowing women to vote. And virtually every other advance in liberty and equality over the last 200 years. That moral teaching was, in fact, profoundly immoral.
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