Petitioners were arrested for breaking the Texas "homosexual
conduct" law after officers entered Lawrence's apartment and
found him and another man engaging in what the law defines as
deviant sexual intercourse with an individual of the same sex.
Petitioners were later found guilty and fined $200. Petitioners
appealed their conviction and claimed that the Texas statute
violated the U.S. and state constitutional equal protection
clauses. The appellate court found that Petitioners' convictions
unconstitutionally discriminated on the basis of sex because they
would not have been charged had they been caught engaging in
heterosexual deviant sexual conduct. A full appellate court,
however, reversed and held that the state's homosexual conduct
law was constitutional because gays and lesbians do not enjoy the
same protection under the state Equal Rights Amendment and that
the state statute furthered the state interest in preserving
public morality. The opinion of the Texas Court of Appeals is
found at 41 S.W.3d 349.
To see the opinion of the lower court, click here.