Texas Penal Code Section 21.06 had been on the books for years, but nobody ever had been arrested under its authority. If anyone had been convicted of violating the statute, the most it called for was a small fine.
But a gay group tried to get it overturned in 1994, claiming it deprived them of certain employer benefits if they lived together and that it made it difficult for them to adopt children. A Texas appeals court replied that the gay group would have to wait until someone was arrested for violating the statute, and then attack its constitutionality.
So, on the night of Sept. 17, 1998, Houston's Harris County deputies on patrol got a message that a man with a gun was firing the weapon at a certain address. Proceeding there and receiving no answer when they called out who they were, the deputies drew their pistols and cautiously entered the apartment.
Instead of someone with a gun, they encountered a man calmly talking on a phone in the kitchen. Then they opened the bedroom door and were stunned to see two men engaged in a sex act. What really shocked the officers, however, was the fact that the two men kept right on performing the sex act even after the deputies identified themselves and ordered them to stop. Finally, the deputies had to push and pull the two men apart. No gun or sign of shooting ever was found.
So, the gays had their arrest. Whether it was staged still is open to question. The defendants and their lawyers - high-profile Ivy Leaguers from New York - had their arrest, had their route to an appeal.
Was Lawrence a set-up?
an interesting article from the Palm Beach (FL) Post. The article reviews an upcoming book, "Sex Appealed... Was the Supreme Court Fooled?" The book claims that the entire situation surrounding Lawrence v Texas was masterminded by gay rights activists.