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Lawrence and Eubanks had been friends for more than 20 years.

Attorneys for Lawrence and Garner asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest appellate court in Texas for criminal matters, to review the case.

After a year's delay, on April 17, 2002, that request was denied.

Lawrence invalidated similar laws throughout the United States that criminalized sodomy between consenting adults acting in private, whatever the sex of the participants.

The Court held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the 14th Amendment.

He then reasoned that because state intrusions are equally burdensome on an individual's personal life regardless of his marital status or sexual orientation, there is no reason to treat the rights of citizens in same-sex couples any differently.

By the time of the Lawrence decision, ten states—Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Utah and Virginia—still banned consensual sodomy without respect to the sex of those involved, and four—Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri—prohibited same-sex couples from engaging in anal and oral sex.In the separate arrest reports he filed for each, he wrote that he had seen the arrestee "engaged in deviate sexual conduct namely, anal sex, with another man".On November 20, Lawrence and Garner pleaded no contest to the charges and waived their right to a trial. Lawrence explicitly overruled Bowers, holding that it had viewed the liberty interest too narrowly. The Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas in a 6–3 decision and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states, making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U. Hardwick, where it upheld a challenged Georgia statute and did not find a constitutional protection of sexual privacy.Defendants convicted, Harris County Criminal Court (1999), rev'd, 2000 WL 729417 (Tex. Legal punishments for sodomy often included heavy fines, life prison sentences, or both, with some states, beginning with Illinois in 1827, denying other rights, such as suffrage, to anyone convicted of the crime of sodomy.

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