Lawrence v. Texas

Lawrence v. Texas

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Lawrence v. Texas

Lawrence v. Texas: The Background

The case of Lawrence v. Texas started in September of 1998 when two men—Tyron Gardner and John Lawrence were arrested in Houston, Texas. The men were arrested because law enforcement agents found that they engaged in consensual sex with each other. Sex between two men (or two women) in the state of Texas was considered illegal under a law called “Homosexual Conduct Law.” 

Texas law enforcement agents arrived at John Lawrence’s home after a neighbor issued a complaint that a person inside Lawrence’s home had a weapon. When the law enforcement agents arrived at the Lawrence home, agents found that the two men were engaging in sexual activity. The men were immediately arrested because of their relationship. 

In response to his arrest, John Lawrence appealed, citing that his personal time and his relationship choices did not warrant an arrest. Mr. Lawrence was enraged; he did not think he was engaging in illegal activity by have a romantic relationship with another man. Mr. Lawrence also believed that the law enforcement agents unfairly broke into his home. The man thought the police had violated his constitutional rights by partaking in an unlawful search and seizure. 

The Homosexual Conduct Law was the genesis of the Lawrence v. Texas case. This state law said it was illegal for a couple of the same sex to partake in any sexual activity. 

Lawrence v. Texas: The Case Profile

The case of Lawrence v. Texas began on March 26th, 2003. During the trial of Lawrence v. Texas, the two men challenged the Texas law, by claiming it was a direct violation of their 14th Amendment rights. The Lawrence v. Texas case was decided on June 26th of 2003 and was heard in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Lawrence v. Texas: The Verdict

In Lawrence v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the “Homosexual Conduct Law” was indeed a violation of the 14th Amendment because it did not preach equality. In the United States, if a state passes a law it must be placed on individuals in an equal manner. It must be enforced on all people equally regardless of their race, creed, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. 

The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution does not allow the government from infringing on the rights for an individual to chase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This amendment is applied to all people regardless of their race, religion, age and gender. 

 

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