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Review of U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Regard to Homosexuality Case, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 353

Research Paper

The article, “Is homosexual behavior protected behavior under the U.S. Constitution”, presented a case, Lawrence vs. Texas, in which two consenting homosexual adults were arrested and convicted under a Texas State Penal Code due to “deviate sexual intercourse”. The petitioners challenged the statute as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Texas Constitution. There contentions were rejected and the petitioners were fined. The similar case of Bowers vs. Hardwick in which Hardwick, although not prosecuted, showed the need for the change in statutes. This brought the question of whether the Federal Constitution conferred the right of homosexuals to engage in sexual acts and thereby making the state laws invalid. The change in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling therefore, was not based on public or international criticism, but based from the Federal Constitution. The Court had to justify their reasoning but could not do to the Due Process Clause. Per the Due Process Clause, individuals are allowed to conduct their personal lives as they wish without interference from any law enforcement. Although there were similar cases in the United States and internationally and public opinion on homosexuality has increased in the past decade, the ruling seemed to be based on the Constitution. It can be suggested, however, that the Court was understanding of the change in times, both socially and culturally. It was stated, “It is indeed true that later generations can see that laws one thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress and when that happens later generations can repeal those laws.” Furthermore, this understanding of change and liberty for individuals is expressed in Justice Thomas’s dissenting opinion. Justice Thomas states, “The law before the Court today is uncommonly silly. If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it.” I also agree with his statement in regard to punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference as an invaluable law enforcement resource. What the ruling should come down to is freedom. The United States prides itself on freedom, yet there are laws and statutes that prohibit freedom in individuals.

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