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Supreme Court Invalidates Texas Anti-Sodomy Law - 2003-06-26

Homosexual rights activists have won a major legal victory in the Supreme Court. By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court struck down an anti-sodomy law in Texas that forbids sex among homosexuals.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. He said people are "entitled to respect for their private lives" and that state laws aimed at controlling private sexual conduct demean the existence of homosexuals.

Homosexual rights and civil rights groups welcomed the court decision as a major legal victory for gays and lesbians.

"Gay people are full citizens of our country," said Pat Logue, an attorney with the Lambda Legal Defense Fund. "We are entitled to equality, we are entitled to live our lives fully in our relationships and our families. And it is a recognition that really we are deserving of the same rights as everyone else."

Three of the nine Supreme Court justices dissented in the case. The dissent was written by Justice Antonin Scalia. He said the Supreme Court has now "signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda."

Justice Scalia added that though he had nothing against homosexuals, the court has "taken sides in the culture war."

Conservative and religious groups were quick to denounce the ruling.

"We deeply regret that the court today has denied the people of Texas their sovereign right to legislate in protection of public health and public morals," said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council in Washington D.C. "It is startling that the court should now declare a constitutional right to engage in sexual acts that the founders of our nation and the authors of that constitution would universally have condemned."