Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 10, Ed. 1 Friday, July 4, 2003 Page: 4 of 76
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Renewed vigor by conservatives forseen
By Mubarak Dahir
Gay and lesbian Americans have every
right to rejoice at the wondrous recent
Supreme Court decision striking down
sodomy laws throughout the land.
But we'd be foolish to think the debate over
homosexuality is anywhere near "over." On the
contrary, we can and should expect opponents
of gay rights to redouble their efforts and re-
energize their considerable armies of anti-gay
soldiers to carry on an even more embittered
and determined fight against us.
Anyone who isn't living under a very big
rock knows by now that on June 26 the
Supreme Court handed down a remarkable
decision that decriminalized gay sex across the
country. In the case that is now a gay house-
hold name even by its legal moniker, Lawrence
v Texas was astonishing for any number of rea-
sons: It was broadly written to encompass not
just those sodomy laws that discriminated
specifically against homosexuality, but against
sodomy in general. It directly overturned the
much-hated, 17-year-old Hardwick v Bowers
decision—where a narrowly split 5-4 Supreme
Court wrongly decided that states did have the
right to regulate private, consensual gay sex in
citizens' homes. It was a strong 6-3 margin,
and a mostly-conservative, mostly
Republican-appointed court handed it down.
And most gloriously, it for the first time gave a
Constitutional nod to gay and lesbian citizens.
Ever since the decision, pundits gay and
straight have been tripping over themselves to
declare the far-reaching impact of the ruling.
Everyone from commentators to gay rights
advocates to legal scholars have opined about
the broader potential impact the ruling might
Rabidly conservative justice Antonin
Scalia, in his scathing dissent, wrote that the
court's reasoning in Lawrence v. Texas "leaves
on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting
marriage to opposite-sex couples.”
Opponents of gay rights see the Lawrence v
Texas ruling not just as a travesty, but (maybe
more importantly) as a rallying call to their
legions of followers. You can bet the religious
right is going to bank on the Supreme Court
decision—literally—to help them raise money
and ire to try to beat back future battles over
gay rights issues.
Conservatives are running scared, but they
aren't running out of steam. If anything, they
will use this decision as a platform to launch
ever more vituperative anti-gay initiatives.
Indeed, such notions are already afloat—
including a proposed amendment to the
Constitution that would define marriage as
solely heterosexual. The amendment, already
introduced in Congress, states that marriage in
the United States "shall consist only of the
union of a man and a woman."
Though marriage seems to frighten our
erstwhile opponents most, there are plenty of
areas where they can and will use the Supreme
Court decision to muster troops against the
advancement of gay rights.
Our sex may no longer make us criminals,
but in many places it still makes us social out-
Our opponents know this, and are poised
to pounce on that fact to turn the court's ruling
into inspired fear—and resulting political
action—by their followers.
We in the gay community should go ahead
and celebrate this wondrous moment. But
when the revelry is over, we better be careful
we aren't caught with our political pants
Mubarak Dahir may be reached by e-mail
Reach out to Southern Baptists
In response to the Southern Baptist "kinder,
gentler position on homosexuality," I hope
that gay and lesbian Christians will reach out
to Southern Baptists.
We should be doing more to lead Southern
Baptists our of their darknes and reach out to
them in a redemptive way and let them know
that they do have a choice.
That alternative is the loving way of Jesus
as proclaimed through Scrpiture, demonstrat-
ed by tradition and enjoyed by millions of
faithful Christians who embrace lesbians and
gay men as children of God without any need
to deny or change their sexual orientation.
Rev. Roger W. Wedell
Leather crowd no threat to PETA
Is Mr. Alvear for real? Did he do any
research before writing his misleading col-
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
has not launched into the leather community
[straight or gay] because their stance is pri-
marily against fur and the cruel treatment of
the animals that are slaughtered for those
pelts, not against Leathaermen and women
[who] are consumers of hides, but not at the
sole expense of the animal.
There was no reason that PETA would
object to International Mr. Leather under such
Secondary issues bearing contention in his
article are the inclusion of the extreme types of
personalities in the Leather comunity as well
The "pock marked, rotund, obsessive"
guys are as small a group with Leather, as the
"fake blood throwing" radicals involved in
PETA. They are just as valuable as those left
unmentioned in the article: The body beautiful
men, and the calm quiet seekers of change. So
it must be asked, is this really about cruelty to
animals? Hypocrisy? Body Image? Or what?
Mr. Alvear is right about one thing. The
Leather commmunity has fought long and
hard not to keep from being laughed at, but at
educating ignorant people outside of their
realm; education that generally prevents blan-
ket statements and irrational remarks from
While I do recognize Mr. Alvear's right to
make the stataements he made, it's my hope
that I'm not the only one who questions this
Ruling a triumph for humanity
The moral trespassing by the state has been
deemed unconstitutional. One's right to priva-
cy has been upheld and an entire class of peo-
ple havbe been decriminalized. Humanity tri-
umphed that day.
JULY 4, 2003
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 10, Ed. 1 Friday, July 4, 2003, newspaper, July 4, 2003; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth616087/m1/4/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.