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Supreme Court Prude

In June 2003, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. The Court controversially struck down the remaining laws against sodomy which, in Texas and twelve other states, had rendered homosexual acts a crime.

Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas, however, firmly dissented. If sodomy laws are unsustainable, Scalia declared in a dissenting opinion, then so are "laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity."

Scalia was no doubt surprised to learn that "masturbation" and "fornication" are not unlawful.

[Though Clarence Thomas also dissented, he declared that the Texas law was "silly," that if he were a member of the Texas Legislature he "would vote to repeal it," and that, though "punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult" was deplorable, there was no such thing as a constitutional right to privacy.]

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