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Appellant in Lawrence v. Texas Dies

Jim Burroway

December 26th, 2011

John Lawrence (left) and Tyrone Garner (right)

John Lawrence, memorialized as the appellant in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas ruling which invalidated state anti-sodomy laws nationwide, died last month at the age of 68. His death came to light when his lawyers tried to reach him for an invitation to an event commemorating the Supreme Court decision. He died on November 20, according to his partner, of heart disease. The New York Times has a very informative obituary:

Mr. Lawrence attended the Supreme Court argument in his case, his lawyers recalled, mingling with the people who had waited in line all night to see it, alive with excitement, pride and a sense of history. “He was willing to be the real-life face of injustice,” Mr. Katine said.

Mr. Lawrence reflected on his case years later in an interview with Professor Carpenter. “Why should there be a law passed that only prosecutes certain people?” he asked. “Why build a law that only says, ‘Because you’re a gay man you can’t do this. But because you’re a heterosexual, you can do the same thing’?”

Tyrone Garner, who was also arrested at the same time as Lawrence, passed away in 2006.



Timothy Kincaid
December 26th, 2011 | LINK

What the anti gay folk never seem to realize is that many of the “militant activists” they object to – often the most successful -are accidental activists of their own creation – people who would otherwise go through life quietly had they not been a victim of those who now are so incensed at their activism.

Lawrence changed the nation by refusing to back down. And when it was over he didn’t hit the lecture circuit or do reality TV. He just went on with his life.

We owe him a huge debt of gratitude

College Jay
December 26th, 2011 | LINK

Amen, Timothy.

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