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November 18, 2017

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Private Sex, Public Laws: The Conflict Over Anti-Sodomy Statutes
Last Featured: 6/12/2000

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.
Overview

On June 27, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a case involving two Texas men who had engaged in consensual sex in their home. In a 6 to 3 split decision, the High Court struck down anti sodomy laws and expanded the constitutional right to privacy. Still on the books in 17 states, sodomy laws make it a crime for consenting adults to have oral or anal sex. As gay rights activists celebrated and conservatives vowed to fight back, a divided nation continues to debate the full impact of this landmark decision.


Guests
Dwight Duncan , a graduate of Georgetown Law School and the Roman Athenaeum of the Holy Cross, is an Associate Professor in Constitutional Law and Legal Ethics at the Southern New England School of Law. Duncan was co-counsel in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers to exclude gay organizations from participation. Duncan has participated as counsel for amici curiae in gay marriage cases in Vermont and Hawaii and has written extensively about the constitutionality of laws that prohibit gay marriage.

Suzanne Goldberg , a graduate of Harvard Law School, is a staff attorney at the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the nation's premier legal organization dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men and people with HIV/AIDS. Goldberg was co-counsel in Romer v. Evans, in which the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Colorado's Amendment 2, a voter-passed initiative that prevented the government from extending civil rights protections to lesbians and gay men. As one of the nation's leading legal experts on gay and lesbian rights, Goldberg has spearheaded constitutional challenges to state sodomy laws in Montana and Texas. She is the co-author of Strangers to the Law: Gay People on Trial, recently released by University of Michigan Press.

Closing Quote
"Time works changes, brings into existence new conditions and purposes. Therefore a principle to be vital must be capable of wider application than the mischief that gave it birth. This is peculiarly true of constitutions, they are not ephemeral enactments designed to meet passing occasions. In the application of a Constitution therefore our contemplation cannot be only of what has been but of what may be. Otherwise . . . a Constitution's general principles would have little value and be converted by precedent into impotent and lifeless formulas. Rights declared in words might be lost in reality."

— Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

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Join the Debate
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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
American Center for Law and Justice
Focus on the Family
Sodomy Laws
CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse
National Journal of Sexual Orientation Law
Burtoft, Setting the Record Straight, An Essential Aid for Standing Against Homosexuality
Rotello & Wolfson, The Little Black Book: This One Can Keep You Out of Trouble, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, State by State Sodomy Law Update
Human Rights Campaign Fund
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Homosexuality and American Public Life
by Christopher Wolfe (Preface), William Kristol (Introduction)
Strangers to the Law : Gay People on Trial (Law, Meaning and Violence)
by Suzanne B. Goldberg and Lisa Keen
Race and the Justice System
Employment Discrimination Post-Ledbetter
The Women's Equality Amendment