U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms American's Right to Privacy in Landmark Case

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New York, NY - ,In an historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck down a Texas sodomy law that singled out gay people for criminal prosecution. Ruling that the petitioners in this case "are entitled to respect for their private lives," the Court overruled a 1986 ruling, Bowers v. Hardwick, in which it had upheld a Georgia sodomy statute that applied to both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

"The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Lawrence v. Texas is the most significant case on the right to privacy since Roe v. Wade and is a ringing victory for all Americans who cherish the right of individuals to make personal decisions about their sexuality and reproductive lives," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Today's decision will have far reaching implications for the rights and liberties of all Americans, as it strengthens and reaffirms individuals’ right to privacy. This includes reaffirming a woman's right to control when and whether to have a child. In the opinion, the Court cites with approval its long line of cases on the right to privacy, including Roe v. Wade’s recognition of "the right of a woman to make certain fundamental decisions affecting her destiny" and Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s affirmation that decisions "involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment."

Lawrence v. Texas was brought by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund on behalf of John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were arrested and jailed overnight by Texas police after they were found in Lawrence's home engaging in private, consensual sex. For more information on the case visit www.lambdalegal.org.