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LGBTQ Rights

Supreme Court Decision: Victory for Gay Equality

Press Release
Nathan Richter or Tarek Rizk
PFAW Foundation
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Ruling Repudiates 1986 Decision Perpetuating Anti-Gay Discrimination

In a historic decision, the Supreme Court has overturned a Texas law that criminalized private, consensual sexual activity between gay adults while permitting the same conduct between heterosexual couples. The decision overturns the Court’s notorious 1986 ruling in Bowers v Hardwick, which upheld Georgia’s sodomy law as applied to gay men and lesbians. People For the American Way Foundation had filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Court to strike down the Texas law as it did in the case decided today.

“This is a great day in the history of the American people’s struggle to make liberty and justice for all a reality,” said People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas. “The Supreme Court has recognized what most Americans regard as common sense – the government has no place regulating private sexual behavior between consenting adults. And the Court has recognized as law what most Americans see as basic fairness: being gay should not mean being a second-class citizen. This decision has not eliminated all the barriers to full equality for gay Americans, but it takes a major step towards dismantling those barriers.”

Neas said the case demonstrates the power of the Supreme Court to impact people’s lives and liberties and serves as stark evidence of the importance of future Supreme Court nominees.