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Court Asked To Rule On Sodomy

Activists are ramping up their efforts to remove a legal underpinning of several states' resistance to endorsing homosexuality.

The ACLU and a homosexual-advocacy group have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a Texas case that could weaken sodomy laws across the country. While many think it's unlikely the high court will take the case, it represents the latest in a series of attempts to make the court take a pro-homosexual stance.

Texas is one of about twenty states that still have sodomy laws on the books. Kelly Shackelford, executive director of the pro-family Free Market Foundation, suspects the case — which challenges the Texas statute — was contrived to give the court an opportunity to strike down the laws nationwide.

"Somebody called in and said that there was a gun and a situation, so the police went to (handle) the situation and when they did, they caught people in the act of homosexual sodomy," Shackelford said.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled the state's sodomy law was constitutional, but the case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to convince the Court to reverse its 1986 ruling upholding state sodomy laws. Shackelford said this appeal is part of a relentless barrage by the homosexual lobby on the courts.

"This is part of a bigger effort. The gay-rights activists have been very diligent, and they've been filing these cases around the country to try to overturn the sodomy laws."

Conservative observers acknowledge that sodomy laws' true value goes beyond regulating sexual activity. Such measures have been effectively used to oppose homosexual adoption and foster parenting, since the state cannot responsibly place children in homes where illegal activity takes place.

Stephen Crampton, an attorney with the American Family Association, said activists are chipping away at the court's resolve.

"The trend has been to attempt to get the high court to rule on the notion that homosexual conduct is entitled to the same sort of right as heterosexual conduct," Crampton said.

And the Supreme Court seems to be moving in that direction. Yet, Crampton predicted the Court is not likely to hear this case.

"While they don't mind changing their minds on issues in a relatively short time frame, they are reluctant to do so when it would mean the direct overruling of an opinion that was pronounced only sixteen years ago," he said.

Even after the Court's 1986 decision, however, a ruling a decade later spoke with a more sympathetic voice toward homosexuality.

The case now before the Supreme Court is Lawrence v. Texas.

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  • Steve Jordahl