Bil Browning

Was Lawrence a set-up?

Filed By Bil Browning | August 15, 2005 4:52 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement

I recently read 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.
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.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


DATE: 8/15/2005 10:08:03 PM

Oh, how astute of Judge Law. Masterminded by gay rights activists? Sheesh...she really believes these two men wanted their sex life spread all over the news and courts for years? They haven't gotten rich off of the decision!! She's just trying to sell books.I'm on the national board of Lambda Legal, the organization that fought and funded this suit. It was in the courts for years, it was a case that was picked for its strategic importance because it would change law in so many states, laws that impacted lesbians as well as gay men. I would say if Lambda or any LGBT legal group were to pick its primary battleground, one might doubt Texas would be picked. (Or Indiana, for that matter.)High profile Ivy Leaguers from New York? And her problem with intelligent legal discourse is... Oh, could it be that they won against the AG from Texas? Or that it was a racially mixed couple? I repeat..."sheesh"!!

AUTHOR: The Quotable Queer

DATE: 8/15/2005 11:55:12 PM

Whether or not it was staged or not, the law needed to be challenged . . . it was not constitutional . . . to say that the Courts were deceived is absolutely ludicrous. This was a simple case about right to privacy and the government staying out of the bedroom. Personally, I think setting it up with an inter-racial gay couple is a perfect setup that would almost beg for an arrest. Sometimes people aren't in it for the money, they are in it for something far more valuable . . . what is right and fair.

AUTHOR: Tracy Elliott

DATE: 8/16/2005 08:34:39 AM

...and who would stop when two cops walked in the room???...sorry, but what an idiotic notion. To quote a wise woman: "Sheesh!"

AUTHOR: steph Mineart

DATE: 8/16/2005 09:41:56 AM

Let's say hypothetically that it was "set up" by "gay activists." (I don't believe it for a second, but lets pretend.)Who cares? Why would that have an impact on the fact that the law was unconstitutional, and that most people recognize that something similar could easily happen at their own house in their own bedroom?And when this book is actually released and I can write a review of it on Amazon's page, I'm going to scream bloody murder about the phrase "their shocking discovery in the back bedroom triggered a chain of events"It's shocking to have consensual sex in your own bedroom with the door closed? This whole book is a sensationalistic piece of trash.