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Supreme Court Right in Lawrence v. Texas
by Doug Hagin
18 July 2003Supreme Court

The conservative reaction to the Lawrence decision was disconcerting.  Certainly the government has no business policing the sex lives of American adults.



The recent Supreme Court decision striking down the Texas sodomy law was bound to cause a stir. No matter which way the highest court in the land decided a furor was certain to ensue. And, surely enough, the Courts 6-3 decision ruling the law unfit to stand has gotten some of my fellow Conservatives in something of a snit.

I must say, this does surprise me. In Conservative ideology this should be a pretty simple issue. The law amounted to the government of Texas snooping into the sexual acts of consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes. Certainly the government, whether state, federal, or local has no place policing the sex lives of American adults.

Yet many Conservatives have seemingly abandoned our cherished traditional belief in small, less intrusive government where this issue is concerned. No doubt many of us are hitting the panic button and spouting rhetoric like our Liberal counterparts tend to do.

Some of my fellow Conservatives are now predicting such depraved acts as Bestiality and sex with children will soon be legalized. No doubt the perverts at the North American Man Boy Love Association would love to legalize the evil they espouse. But NAMBLA will not gain any victories through this decision. 

Sex between consenting adults was at issue in Texas. The pedophiles at NAMBLA do not stand to gain anything here, since they favor sex with between men and boys.  In other words the Supreme Court came nowhere close to legalizing pedophilia. Pedophilia is a crime which victimizes children; sex between consenting adults was at issue here.

Likewise bestiality is not going to be soon legalized because of this decision. Bestiality does not involve sex between consenting adults. It involves people having sex with animals. Animals can not possibly consent; animals in bestiality are victims and ought to be protected by law.

Of course most of the displeasure among Conservatives over the Supreme Court ruling stems from our belief that Homosexuality is abnormal and morally wrong. And yes it is wrong; it is sinful, and I strongly believe it is abnormal. Yet when it occurs between two, or three, or more consenting adults, in the privacy of their homes it is not my business. It is not your business. And certainly none of the government's business.

Many have brought forth the right of communities to enact and enforce “Community Standards” in defense of the Texas Sodomy law. The idea being that the collective people making up the community have a right to set certain guidelines. Yes they do, but no community has the right to invade a private home and push their ideals upon that home’s residents.

I must say I am puzzled at the fact Conservatives are defending this law. Certainly we are appalled when a “community” tries to ban Americans from smoking in their own homes as many Liberals would love to do. We would be outraged if a “community” outlawed gun ownership, or possessing alcohol in our private homes. We would speak of personal liberties and the dangers of a government grown out of control. And we would be right.

So why are we, or many in our ranks any way, abandoning our core principles on this issue? The answer is some of us can handle being offended no better than the whiny Liberals of America who seek to foist their values upon all of us. This is sad. Conservatives are, unlike Liberals, usually able to overlook personal offense and see the bigger picture.

Instead of trying to eliminate all behaviors, which offend us, Conservatives are usually willing to defend liberty, even if we are offended.  We are usually aware that in a free society there is no right NOT to be offended.

The law the Supreme Court struck down gave the government the right to control the sex lives of consenting adults. This is un-American, just as a law telling us not to smoke or drink in our homes would be. What could be next? Perhaps community standards would dictate certain books to be unfit? Or certain TV shows? Is this what we wish for America? To sacrifice our liberties on the altar of “community standards”?

So a note to my fellow Conservatives; please stop spouting emotional rhetoric over this decision. We are Conservatives; we are better than Liberals at debating and arguing because our ideals are usually based in fact. Yet we surrender the high ground when we start adopting Liberal-like hyperbole. And surely much of the complaining from Conservatives over this decision amounts to sheer hyperbole. Let us return to thinking with our heads and not our emotions.

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