INTERNATIONAL

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down ban on gay sex

WASHINGTON June 26. The Supreme Court struck down a ban on gay sex on Thursday, ruling that the law was an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

The 6-3 ruling reverses course from a ruling 17 years ago that States could punish homosexuals for what such laws historically called `deviant sex'.

Laws forbidding homosexual sex, once universal, now are rare.

Those on the books are rarely enforced but underpin other kinds of discrimination, lawyers for two Texas men argued in the court.

The men "are entitled to respect for their private lives", Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote.

"The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."

Justice John Paul Stevens, Justice David Souter, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer, agreed with Justice Kennedy in full. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor agreed with the outcome of the case, but not all of Justice Kennedy's rationale.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas dissented.

"The court has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda," Justice Scalia wrote for the three.

He took the unusual step of reading his dissent from the Bench.

"The court has taken sides in the culture war," Justice Scalia said, adding that he had "nothing against homosexuals". — AP

Recommended for you