When the U.S. Supreme Court decided Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, it was the most significant breakthrough in the fight for equality for LGBT people. The ruling struck down all remaining state anti-sodomy laws, and paved the way for many dramatic advancements that changed America’s legal landscape forever, from marriage equality to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Now, a new book about Lawrence has thrust Lambda Legal’s biggest victory back into the spotlight. Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas: How a Bedroom Arrest Decriminalized Gay Americans, by University of Minnesota law professor Dale Carpenter, is on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. It was excerpted in The Atlantic and discussed in Salon. A piece in the New York Review of Books comes out next week.
(You can read an excerpt from the book in Lambda Legal’s Impact magazine here.)
The recent flurry of attention began with a review by legal writer Dahlia Lithwick in the New Yorker. That piece prompted Lambda Legal’s Executive Director, Kevin Cathcart, to respond in a Huffington Post column. Then, law professor-turned-blogger Ari Ezra Waldman backed him up in Towleroad. Media attention will only intensify as author Dale Carpenter continues his national book tour.
Legal observers and advocates of LGBT equality have understood Lawrence’s significance since the day it was decided. It’s the subject of a Lambda Legal documentary, Overruled!: The Case That Brought Down Sodomy Laws. You can watch it here.
You can also read a post about Lawrence’s impact by Lambda Legal’s Director of Constitutional Litigation, Susan Sommer, who was part of the team of lawyers who litigated the case, along with Paul Smith, who successfully argued it before the Supreme Court.
Lawrence, like all the other Lambda Legal victories it helped achieve, was possible only with the help of Lambda Legal’s members. Your gift can make an impact in the lives of LGBT people and those living with HIV.
For a limited time, you can receive your own copy of Dale Carpenter’s hardcover book Flagrant Conduct, as well as a DVD of Lambda Legal’s documentary Overruled! with a $60 donation to Lambda Legal. Order now.