Today’s Supreme Court decision declaring that it is unconstitutional to deny homosexuals in so-called “same sex marriages” federal benefits should hardly have come as a surprise. After Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion ten years ago in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), it was clear that it was only a matter of whether the appropriate case would reach the Court while Mr. Justice Kennedy was still seated there. He revealed his touchy-feely squishiness in that decision, and today the fuse lit by that extremely damaging decision has caused a major explosion on the moral landscape.
If you have forgotten the Lawrence case, and I can’t blame you if you tried to put it out of your mind, it all started when two homosexual men, Tyron Garner and Robert Eubanks, friends of Mr. Lawrence, were hanging out, so to speak, at his Houston apartment. Lawrence, also a homosexual, had had an on-again, off-again relationship with Mr. Eubanks, who apparently got upset when he thought his ex was flirting with Mr. Garner. Mr. Eubanks, very unhappy with this turn of events, called in a fake police report of a man “going crazy” in Mr. Lawrence’s apartment. When the cops got there, there was a man going crazy all right, but not in the way that had expected. Garner and Lawrence were arrested for violating the Texas anti-sodomy statute, which led to the landmark case, invalidating overturning the Bowers v. Georgia case. Bowers said it was constitutional for a state’s legislature to decide to criminalize certain sexual behavior.
Homosexual activists whined incessantly for the seventeen brief years it was the law of the land, and in the Lawrence case, they got their wish. The key to understanding how Lawrence v. Texas started us down the moral sewer is appreciating that this was the case in which the Supreme Court said that the fact that behavior is immoral and unacceptable is insufficient justification for a state to criminalize it. As a report on the Lawrence decision in the New York Times, dated exactly ten years ago today, June 26, 2003, presciently stated: “Although Texas itself did not make the argument, some of the state’s supporters told the justices in friend-of-the-court filings that invalidating sodomy laws could take the court down the path of allowing same-sex marriage.”
Gee, ya think? One of those who said we were headed down that path was the brilliant Antonin Scalia, He said it in his dissent from the majority’s Lawrence opinion, and took the rare step of reading that dissent from the bench. Being the logical guy that he is, he stated the obvious:
If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is “no legitimate state interest” for purposes of proscribing that conduct, and if, as the Court coos (casting aside all pretense of neutrality), “[w]hen sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring,” what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising “[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution,”?
In explaining the Court’s sudden willingness to overturn a case of only seventeen-year vintage, Scalia accurately stated “The court has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda,” “and “taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.”