Bowers v. Hardwick was a 1986 United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case that said that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution does not mean there is a a constitutional right for two people of the same gender to have sex. The case was about two men, so the exact words they used were "homosexual sodomy."
The Supreme Court said that gay sex is not a deeply rooted right in American history and that it would not be possible for SCOTUS to create such a right without also creating a constitutional right to both adult incest and adultery. The majority opinion was written by Justice Byron White. The other justices who agreed were Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger and Justices Lewis Powell, William Rehnquist, and Sandra Day O'Connor. In a brief separate opinion, Chief Justice Burger said gay sex had been called bad for thousands of years, with William Blackstone calling gay sex worse than rape. The dissenting opinion came from Justices Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, William Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall. They disagreed with the majority opinion. Justice Blackmun said that the 14th amendment could create a constitutional right to have sex with another person of the same gender because of the right to privacy. He said that people have a right to be left alone and that saying this about gay sex did not mean people would be legally allowed to commit adult incest or adultery.
References[change | change source]
- "Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986)". Justia Law.
- Greenhouse, Linda (27 June 2003). "THE SUPREME COURT: HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS; JUSTICES, 6-3, LEGALIZE GAY SEXUAL CONDUCT IN SWEEPING REVERSAL OF COURT'S '86 RULING" – via NYTimes.com.