Supreme Court's Gay Rights Revolution

5 years later profound change still rippling though society
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2008 6:15 AM CDT
Jeffery Leach, left, treats his partner Douglas Washington, right, to a piece of cake after receiving their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – It’s been five years since the Supreme Court heard Lawrence v. Texas and handed down a landmark decision in effect decriminalizing homosexual activity and paving the way for gay marriage legislation in Massachusetts and California. The decision has been cited in numerous cases around the country challenging morals legislation, and triggered profound changes in law and society, Time reports.

Dissenting Justice Antonio Scalia ominously predicted a "massive disruption" of the social order, while Justice Anothony Kennedy proclaimed that Americans could not be "demeaned" by making their "private sexual conduct" a crime. Knowing what we had accomplished at the moment was tremendous," said the attorney who argued before the court. "What Lawrence really means is that it is no longer enough to simply disapprove of conduct for the majority to make it a crime."