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VOL. 5, NO. 8 July 18, 2003

Sodomy, Survival, and the Supremes: Lawrence v. Texas

Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman, Court Watch 
Jessica Echard, Eagle Forum Intern

I have taught college students for most of my life. If any of my graduating seniors had written a paper as poor as the U. S. Supreme Court's recent opinion invalidating the Texas sodomy law (as well as similar laws in 12 other states) in Lawrence v. Texas, that student would have received a grade of "F" — only because there is no lower grade available. Along with Roe v. Wade (which legalized abortion in 1973), Lawrence is surely the worst decision the Supremes have ever made—the two cases indeed deserving Rick Scarborough's description of them as the "twin sisters of Hell."

The horror of both Roe and Lawrence lies in their results as well as their "reasoning" (opinions). As to their results, these cases, more than any other two cases in American history, call into question the ability of America's culture and constitutional system to survive. As to their reasoning (a charitable description of the Court's opinions in both cases), they fail every legitimate standard of constitutional decision-making. Only a small portion of the egregious errors in the Lawrence majority's position can be enumerated here.

  1. The Lawrence decision tramples state power, virtually ignoring the states' constitutionally-protected interest—even obligation—in protecting public health, safety, welfare and morality from the dangers of homosexual conduct.

    • Public Health and Safety: "Friend of the court" briefs offered extensive evidence that homosexual conduct is strongly correlated with vile diseases such as AIDS (for which the death rate is 100%), hepatitis B, syphilis, and a group of intestinal tract diseases known as "gay bowel syndrome". Lesbian conduct has become a focus of research more recently, but data already gathered show significant correlation between this behavior and a variety of STD's and infections

    • Public Morality: The Court also irrationally rejects the states' power/obligation to protect the public morality. The argument that "you can't legislate morality" is ridiculous. The truth is cogently expressed by a Kentucky Supreme Court Justice in the 1993 state case of Kentucky v. Wasson: "It is foolish and fruitless to ignore morality in our society and in our governmental function. Every political decision of consequence reflects a moral judgment."

      The Lawrence court also argues the hackneyed oxymoron that "Our obligation is . . . not to mandate our own moral code." But the entire decision reeks with the message that homosexual conduct is, at the least, acceptable and that the Texas law is "bad" — a "moral judgment," if there ever was one.

    • Public Welfare: Closely related is the state's power/obligation to educate the populace concerning health, safety, and morality. In briefs before the Court, several state Attorneys-General argued that "Even legislation that is largely symbolic and infrequently enforced (due to other salutary checks on government power, like the Fourth Amendment) has significant pedagogical value. Laws teach people what they should and should not do, based on the experiences of their elders."

  2. The judicial destruction of a massive protective wall around public health, safety, morality, and welfare leaves America wide open for a further plunge backward into Sodom and Gomorrah.

    • Laws against bestiality, incest, sibling intermarriage, polygamy, prostitution, spousal abuse, drug use, etc. are likely to be buried in the Supremes' hurry to legitimize conduct which Sir William Blackstone referred to as of "a still greater malignity [than rape or incest], the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature."

    • Almost certain is an explosion of new laws granting to homosexuals rights such as marriage, adoption, employment benefits, employment opportunities, changed military discharge policies, etc.

    • These seismic changes in our constitutional and cultural landscape threaten the very existence of our civilization and its basic institutions—heterosexual marriage and the host of attendant legal rights/obligations, the church (if it opposes homosexual conduct), and the rule of law. Since Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is a central figure in the Sodomy Six, it seems that it is definitely time for her to retire and go home to the ranch.

  3. The Sodomy Six and their liberal/libertine allies outside the Court hold irreconcilable positions on the Court's use of the rule of precedent. The libertines express horror at over-turning Roe because it is "settled law" (ignoring the fact that substantial portions of the decision have already been over-turned), but are ecstatic at over-turning Bowers, whose 17-year life span apparently doesn't qualify it as "settled law."

  4. The Court's reading of previous cases and other historical data is sophomoric. The Court relies heavily on a generalized, non-specific "right to privacy" which has no constitutional nor historical ground. This "right" was created by the Court in 1965 in Griswold v. Connecticut. Furthermore, "private" conduct has immense public consequences, as noted above.

  5. In view of the Supremes' scorch and burn policy toward millennia-old standards of documentary interpretation, on what grounds do the Sodomy Six base their decision?

    • Opines Justice Kennedy's majority opinion, "we think (not, "constitutional and historical standards require") that our laws and traditions in the past half century are of most relevance here." "[H]istory and tradition are the starting point but not in all cases the ending point of [a case such as this]." (English law punished sodomy at least as early as 1533; and in 1961, all 50 American states outlawed this deviancy.)
      TRANSLATION: "What we [the Court—or five members thereof] think, not what the Constitution says, governs. And we say, "forget millennia of judeo-Christian values, 600 years of English Common Law history, and all of American history because we want to create a constitutional right to sodomy.

    • Opines the Court majority, "The sweeping references [in Bowers] to the history of Western civilization and to Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards [opposing sodomy] did not take account of other authorities pointing in an opposite direction." TRANSLATION: "Other authorities" are non-American sources, whose inclusion in Lawrence is an unprecedented and frightening intrusion of globalism into the American constitutional system. These global "authorities" include the highly controversial 1957 Wolfenden Report published in England, and a decision made in the early 1980s by the European Court of Human Rights. The "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" promulgated by the United Nations in 1948 also specifically guarantees persons against "arbitrary interference with his privacy" (Article 12).

The gay community exulted over Lawrence, seeing it as a landmark blow for unbridled licentiousness in America. Gay attorney Paul M. Smith, who argued to the Court on behalf of the homosexuals and the Lambda Legal Defense fund, declared "This is a new day for gay Americans." And Baltimore gay rights leader Anthony McCarthy eagerly described Lawrence as "probably the most significant civil rights case handed down in my lifetime" (McCarthy is 35).

But moral America's position is aptly described by the Supreme Court's wordmeister, Antonin Scalia, who foresees "a massive disruption of the current social order." This disruption results from "a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda." Clearly, "the Court has taken sides in the culture war" and is "seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that [law profession] culture are not obviously 'mainstream.'"


 Be Educated: Learn more about what NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN haven't told you about the sodomy issue:

  • Order the expanded analysis of Lawrence written by Dr. Virginia Armstrong, by:

  • Sending your check for $5.00 marked "Lawrence Analysis" to : 
    The Blackstone Institute, PMB 190, 2438 Industrial Blvd., Abilene, Texas 79605.

 Be Involved: Contact your U. S. Senators immedialy and urge their prompt ratification of Alabama Attorney-General Bill Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor is a pro-life Catholic who wrote a brief supporting Texas in Lawrence and who supports Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's placement of the Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of Alabama's State Judicial Building. The following Senators are in special need of your encouragement: GOP: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (ME), and Lincoln Chafee (RI); and DEMS: John Breaux and Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln (AR), and Ben Nelson (NE).

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