Date marks milestone for gay community

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the Supreme Court case that struck down the Texas anti-sodomy statute and launched a new era in gay rights.

Lawrence v. Texas began in 1998, when a Harris County police officer responded to a reported weapons disturbance complaint in a private residence made by a neighbor. After entering the apartment, Deputy Joseph Quinn found two men, John Gedded Lawrence, then 55, and Tyron Garner, then 31, engaging in a private, consensual sexual act. Based on the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law, which defined anal or oral sex between gay or lesbian couples as deviant sexual intercourse, both men were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.

After their second appeal to the Texas Court of Appeals was rejected, Lawrence and Garner appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2003 the court ruled in a 6-3 decision against the Texas law and other sodomy laws throughout the country.

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