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in a 6-3 decision, the justices overturned a Texas statute forbidding two persons of the same sex to engage in sodomy. Lawrence v. Texas, No. 02-102. The court held that the Texas statute, which makes it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in sodomy, violates the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court overturned its 1986 holding in Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186. According to Kennedy’s opinion, though the laws in question in both cases do “no more than prohibit a particular sexual act, their penalties and purposes have more far-reaching consequences, touching upon the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, and in the most private of places, the home.” Individual decisions concerning the intimacies of physical relationships are a form of “liberty” protected by due process. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into an individual’s personal life. Kennedy’s opinion was joined by Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer and O’Connor. Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehnquist and Thomas joined.

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