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To think about the future of lesbian and gay rights in the wake of Lawrence v. Texas, we inevitably need to look to the past. After all, the movement that first sparked efforts to challenge statutes like the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law was not a rights movement at all. Instead, when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals began organizing in 1969, their rallying cry was for liberation. To gauge what Lawrence means, then, we need to think in terms of both liberation, as the movement's early aim, and legal equality, which is the dominant demand of today's activists and advocates.

To carry out this contextualized inquiry, let us consider first how Lawrence fits in with some of the early goals of the gay movement and then consider why anti-gay discrimination has not crumbled in the wake of the Court's passionate pronouncement of the core humanity of lesbians and gay men.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Law | Sexuality and the Law