Bill Number: HB 1523
Bill Description: Relating to the repeal of the offense of homosexual conduct.
Author: Farrar (D-Houston)
Stance: Support
Related Bills: SB 148, HB 553
Committee: Not yet assigned

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Analysis

In 2003 the Supreme Court of the United States found in Lawrence v. Texas, that consenting adults have a right to sexual privacy, ruling a Texas law making sodomy a criminal act unconstitutional. That law remains in Texas law to this day. This bill would remove that provision of the law.

Texas Health and Safety Code, in reference to the above unconstitutional provision, requires that sex education in Texas teach that “homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense”. This bill would also remove that provision.

This bill has been put forth eight times in the past. Equality Texas has a primer on its history.

Position

Discrimination against homosexuals serves no secular purpose. The language of the law must reflect equal treatment and respect for the relationships of all Texans. Since this provision has already been declared unconstitutional, leaving this unenforceable law on the books demonstrates continued and entrenched inequality in Texas. Further, in the Health and Safety Code, declarations that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under the Penal Code is discriminatory, no longer enforceable, serves no secular purpose, and still being used to harass homosexuals.

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