Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Houston Voice, No. 1171, April 4, 2003
File 013
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Houston Voice, No. 1171, April 4, 2003 - File 013. 2003-04-04. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/17058/show/17041.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-04-04). Houston Voice, No. 1171, April 4, 2003 - File 013. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/17058/show/17041

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1171, April 4, 2003 - File 013, 2003-04-04, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/17058/show/17041.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title Houston Voice, No. 1171, April 4, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
Publisher Window Media
Date April 4, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 013
Transcript I,MINI I I voice STAFF EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN Editor PENNY WEAVER editor@houstonvoice.com Production BONNIE NAUGLE, GEORGE WIDMER Correspondents: LOU CMBBARO JR., LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN. MIKE FLEMING, MATTHEW HENNIE, BRIAN MOYLAN, KEVIN NAFF, JENNIFER SMITH, RHONDA SMITH, STEVE WEINSTEIN Contributors J.A. CHAPMAN, DON MOSER, BRIAN MOYLAN Ptotografrtere DALTON DEHART, KIMBERLY THOMPSON JEDDEMPSEY SALES & ADMINISTRATION General Manager DANIEL EMERICH demerfch(3)houstonvoice.com Account Executives BRETT CULLUM - bculium@lioustonvoice.com DONNA HULL - dhull@houstonvoice.com BRIAN MARTIN - bmartin@houstonvoice.com National Advertising Representative Rivendell Marketing Company, Inc. 212-242-6863 A Wind // plication Publisher-WINDOW MEDIA LLC President- WILLIAM WAYBOURN Editorial Director-CHRIS CRAIN Corporate Controller- BARNETTE HOLSTON Art Director- ROB BOEGER General Manager- MICHAEL KITCHENS Marketing Manager- DAN GARRIOTT thedian_ber the greater houston glbt chamber of commerce CHARTER MEMBER Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713) 529-8490 Fax: (713) 529-9531 www.houstonvoice.com Contents copyright 2003 Office hours: 9 am. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays To submit a tetter Letters should be fewer than 400 words. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. We will withhold names upon request, but you must include your name and phone number for verification. Please send mail to Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77006; fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to editor@houston- voice.com. Opinions expressed therein do aot reflect those of the Houston Voice. All material in Houston Voice is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of Houston Voice. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred or implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Houston Voice accepts unsolicited editorial material but cannot take responsibility for its return. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. All rights revert to authors upon publication. Guidelines for freelance contributors are available upon request Forum HOUSTON VOICE APRIL 4, 2003 PAGE 12 editorial Sodomy fight is about equality Those who see the Texas sodomy case as a vehicle for sexual liberation should look elsewhere. Our movement should advance equality, not sex. By CHRIS CRAIN 111 Issue 1171 HE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM about last week's oral argument in the landmark lawsuit challenging the Texas "homosexual conduct" law is that a majority of the Supreme Court will vote to strike down the statute. Three of the nine justices (Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter) aggressively challenged the constitutionality of the law, which criminalizes sodomy for same- sex partners only, and another (John Paul Stevens) voted more than a decade ago to strike down the sodomy law in Georgia. Only one more vote would amount to a majority, and even neutral observers like longtime New York Times correspondent Linda Greenhouse reported that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor — who unlike Stevens voted to uphold Georgia's sodomy law in the infamous 54 Bowers vs. Hardwick decision — seemed to be looking for some way to strike down the Texas statute. But if O'Connor has her way the court will likely be taking "the easy way out," striking down the Texas law for violating the Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection under the law." The laws of only three other states, which also criminalize homosexual sodomy without any similar prohibition against heterosexual oral and anal sex, would also be unenforceable under such a ruling. But relying on "equal protection" to strike down the Texas law would leave on the books the sodomy laws in another nine states, because they ban oral and anal sex for gay and straight sex partners alike. To knock out all 13 laws, the court would have to conclude that the Texas law violates the "fundamental right to privacy" that unmarried adults have to decide, in the privacy of then- own bedrooms, to engage in consensual sex. That would mean overturning the 1986 holding in Bowers vs. Hardwick. Justice O'Connor is famous for frustrating advocates of all stripes by deciding cases on as narrow a basis as possible, ostensibly to preserve for the court the ability to consider new facts and'circumstances down the road. That bodes poorly for a vote from her on an expanded "fundamental right" that covers private sexual choices, including sodomy She is also no fan of Roe vs. Wade, the controversial ruling that the decision to terminate a pregnancy was protected by that "fundamental privacy right," though she begrudgingly upheld the precedent several years ago as a settled issue that shouldn't be reopened. If Justice O'Connor won't avail herself of the prerogative to change her mind (and her vote) in the Bowers case, then Justice Anthony Kennedy is the only likely candidate to create a majority on this "broader" ruling on the Texas sodomy law. He gave no particular indication in the oral argument last week that he is prepared to do so, and the historic opinion he authored seven years ago in Romer vs. Evans, which struck down an anti-gay amendment to the Colorado Constitution, was based on equal protection, ■ not the "right to privacy" BUT ARE WE REALLY WORSE OFF IF THE Supreme Court won't go so far as to declare that there is a fundamental right to make private sexual choices? As appealing as such a ruling might be to gay and lesbian Americans, who are regularly subjected to grief and discrimination for our private sexual choices, there isn't a strong anchor for such a ruling in the text of the U.S. Constitution. In fact, that document says nothing at all about a right to privacy except against having our homes searched without justification. That's why Roe vs. Wade, which snatched the-issue of abortion from consideration by the elected branches of government, remains so controversial today There may come a happy day when homosexuality has reached such broad acceptance that a judicially imposed right to make private sexual choices will be accepted by the public and will not galvanize the opposition, but that day surely has not arrived. It is the case, as noted, that only an expanded "right to privacy" will strike down the sodomy laws in those nine states that criminalize oral and anal sex for gays and straights alike. Also left intact would be laws against "fornication" (extramarital sex of any type), which are still on the books in a surprising number of states, although they have not been used as widely as sodomy laws to stigmatize gays in custody battles and the like. But on the other hand, a ruling by the Supreme Court that the "fundamental right to privacy" extends to all private sexual choices may not be nearly as useful to the broader movement for full equality and gay civil rights. . IN THIS RESPECT, IT WAS THE LAWYER for the state of Texas, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, who really got it right. At the very end of his folksy but otherwise abysmal performance before the Supreme Court last week, Rosenthal warned the justices that striking down the state's sodomy law might result in a parade of horribles that includes the legalization of gay marriage. The state of Texas and its advocates on the Supreme Court, most vocally Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia, searched high and low last week for any rational justification for treating homosexuals and heterosexuals differently under the state's sodomy statute. The best they came up with is the proposition that a majority of citizens, acting through their government, is entitled to impose "moral judgments" through laws. "You can make it sound puritanical," Scalia acknowledged from the bench, but that doesn't make it unconstitutional, he said. Pressed to come up with other justifications, Rosenthal could offer only the preservation of families and procreation, but those claims withered under the scrutiny of Justice Ginsburg, who pointed out that the same year (1973) that Texas criminalized homosexual sodomy, it decriminalized adultery and fornication. For the knockout punch, she noted that Texas places no sexual restrictions on heterosexuals who cannot have children or on gays who wish to serve as foster parents. If the majority of the court sides with Justice Ginsburg, and concludes that "morality" and "family values" aren't justifications for treating gay couples differently from straight couples, then you can waive goodbye to the only serious justifications ever given for marriage laws that discriminate against same-sex couples. And don't look to tradition to support such "morality laws," though Justice Scalia offered it up last week. Justice Stevens shot back that there was a long history of laws against interracial marriage before the Supreme Court's landmark case of Loving vs. Virginia, which struck them down on equal protection grounds in 1967. Paul Smith, the top-notch advocate for the two Houston gay men challenging the Texas sodomy law, also noted that a history of official discrimination didn't save laws criminalizing interracial cohabitation, which the court has also struck down. The Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, which has done a generally excellent job in the Texas case, has been too shy about acknowledging the implications for gay marriage in an equal protection victory in the Texas sodomy case. If we believe in our own equality, we shouldn't play cute and disingenuous, suggesting even out of court that s laws and marriage laws aren't related. All in all, a strong ruling that vindicates our right to equal treatment from our government, grounded in the actual text of the Constitution, is worth far more than an extension in the court's troubled jurisprudence on the "right to privacy," however good such a victory might feel today Chris Crain is executive editor of Houston Voice and can be reached at ccram(j^_jov^^
File Name uhlib_31485329_n1171_012_ac.jpg