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Cases


Bowers vs. Hardwick (1986) - Hardwick was caught engaging in consensual sexual intercourse with another man. He was convicted of violating Georgia's anti-sodomy law. He appealed the decision saying the law was unconstitutional. The defendant(the state) made a motion to dismiss the lawsuit for failure to state a claim. This was denied. Eventually it was decided at the Supreme Court that there was insufficient evidence that the Georgia law was unconstitutional. Therefore, the law remained in effect until 2003 in the Lawrence vs. Texas case.

Romer vs. Evans (1996) - The state of Colorado passed a law called the 2nd Amendment. It said that the government of Colorado would not recognize any legislation protecting gays and lesbians and any legislation already passed would be void. The state argued that it did not classify homosexuals as a minority so it would not provide special rights to them. Several homosexual government employees of the state filed a lawsuit almost immediately after the law was passed. It was taken to the Supreme Court where the vote was taken May 20, 1996. The court voted in favor of the homosexual community.

Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale (2000) - James Dale, a former boy scout and assistant scoutmaster had his adult membership of the the Boy Scouts revoked based solely on his sexual orientation. He filed a complaint saying that he was being denied his constitutional rights and that the Boy Scouts had broken state law by discriminating against him based on sexual orientation. The Boy Scouts say their goal is to instill good value in young people. They say homosexuality is not a good value for kids to have or be around. They argued their case skillfully enough that the Supreme Court voted to allow the Boy Scouts of America to keep gay scoutmaster out of the organization.

Lawrence vs. Texas (2003) -
Lawrence was found engaging in anal sex with one Tyron Garner by Houston police after a reported weapons disturbance in his apartment. They were found guilty of "deviate sexual intercourse" which is against the Texas statute banning sodomy. Lawrence then filed suit against the state for allegedly denying him his constitutional rights. The case made it to the Supreme Court where the court voted that the law was indeed unconstitutional, reversing their decision from 1986. This meant that all laws in any states banning sodomy were unconstitutional.