Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

"WHAT GAY STUDIES TAUGHT THE COURT": The Historians' Amicus Brief in Lawrence v. Texas

"WHAT GAY STUDIES TAUGHT THE COURT": The Historians' Amicus Brief in Lawrence v. Texas George Chauncey Introduction The historians’ amicus brief reprinted here was submitted by a group of ten professors of history to the U.S. Supreme Court as it considered the constitutionality of Texas’s “homosexual conduct law” in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. The Court cited the brief in the decision it issued on June 26, 2003, which overturned that law and the rest of the nation’s sodomy laws. Although legal observers immediately began to debate the implications of the decision and the merits of its legal reasoning, there is no doubt that it constituted a major victory for the gay movement. Although the two plaintiffs in Texas were not the only ones to face such charges, few consenting adults had been prosecuted for sodomy even before the decision. But by criminalizing homosexual activity, the sodomy laws had effectively criminalized all lesbians and gay men, and opponents of gay rights had regularly used this imputation of criminality in public debates and court decisions to justify everything from the exclusion of gays from the military to the removal of children from the homes of their lesbian mothers. Sodomy laws were an ideological cornerstone in the legal edifice of antigay discrimination. In http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies Duke University Press

"WHAT GAY STUDIES TAUGHT THE COURT": The Historians' Amicus Brief in Lawrence v. Texas

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/what-gay-studies-taught-the-court-the-historians-amicus-brief-in-7AcN0vodQB
Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1064-2684
eISSN
1527-9375
DOI
10.1215/10642684-10-3-509
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

George Chauncey Introduction The historians’ amicus brief reprinted here was submitted by a group of ten professors of history to the U.S. Supreme Court as it considered the constitutionality of Texas’s “homosexual conduct law” in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. The Court cited the brief in the decision it issued on June 26, 2003, which overturned that law and the rest of the nation’s sodomy laws. Although legal observers immediately began to debate the implications of the decision and the merits of its legal reasoning, there is no doubt that it constituted a major victory for the gay movement. Although the two plaintiffs in Texas were not the only ones to face such charges, few consenting adults had been prosecuted for sodomy even before the decision. But by criminalizing homosexual activity, the sodomy laws had effectively criminalized all lesbians and gay men, and opponents of gay rights had regularly used this imputation of criminality in public debates and court decisions to justify everything from the exclusion of gays from the military to the removal of children from the homes of their lesbian mothers. Sodomy laws were an ideological cornerstone in the legal edifice of antigay discrimination. In

Journal

GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2004

There are no references for this article.