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Friday, October 28, 2011

Case Analysis of Lawrence v. Taylor (539 US 558

Gay Rights
Case Analysis of Lawrence v. Taylor (539 US 558)

The facts of the case states that the petitioners, John Geddes Lawrence, a medical technologist, then age 55, and Tyron Garner, then 31, were alleged to have been engaging in consensual anal sex in Lawrence's apartment in the outskirts of Houston between 10:30 and 11 p.m. on September 17, 1998 when Harris County sheriff's deputy Joseph Quinn entered the unlocked apartment, with his weapon drawn, arresting the two.  The arrest was made because of an information of weapons disturbance from a neighbour Robert Royce Eubanks, who was once a romantically linked to Garner, who subsequently was arrested because of harassment of the petitioners.

After the arrest, the petitioners were held for violating the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law, prohibiting aberrant sexual intercourse between members of the same sex.  To which the petitioners prayed for the dismissal of the case filed in the grounds that it is in direct violation of the Equal Protection Clause as mandated in the Bill of Rights.

Equal Protection Clause expressly assert the right of all persons to have the same access to the law and courts and to be treated equally by the law and courts, both in procedures and in the substance of the law. It is akin to the right to due process of law.  In the case at bar, the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law was assailed as unconstitutional because of the fact that it is only applicable to “homosexual” which is definitely not in consonance to boundaries set forth by the Equal Protection Clause.  It is concentrated on a particular group not on the act.  Thus it is not in compliance with the US Constitution. The application of the law must be to all and all persons must be treated equally.  With this simple application of the US Constitution, the Supreme Court strikes down the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law.  It provides discrimination.

Provided further, the case involves fruit of a poisonous tree.  The arrest was made because of a wrongful act done by a vengeful neighbour, which makes the arrest invalid for it grounded in no legal basis.  According to law evidence or contraband searched, seize or arrested by virtue of false accusation with no probable cause is inadmissible in the courts of law.  The arrest also violates the due process which states that no person shall be deprive of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

One of the opinions of the Supreme Court contends that the aforementioned sodomy law may be in effect if it involves minors or the act includes vitiation of consent evidenced by force, intimidation or threats.  In the present case the petitioners are of legal age and there are aware of their actions.  Both give their consent without duress, thus it is ultra vires of the sodomy law.

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