Europe threatened U.S. over Tx. Sodomy Law

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by dianetavegia, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. dianetavegia

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    July 4, 2003
    Volume 6, Number 28

    European Legal Brief Threatened Trouble for US Over Texas Sodomy Law

    As debate continues on the significance of the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Texas' law against sodomy, it has gone largely unnoticed that the majority's decision relied on judicial rulings made in Europe and at the United Nations. The pivotal role of international law in the Supreme Court decision seems to confirm the concerns of conservative legal scholars, who have long warned that laws developed in Europe and at the UN could be imposed on the US. The majority opinion was guided, specifically, by the pro-homosexual rulings of the European Court of Human

    In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy also refers to a "Friends of the Court" brief submitted by Mary Robinson, former UN High
    Commissioner for Human Rights, which asserts, "This Court should not decide in a vacuum whether criminalization of same-sex sodomy between consenting adults violates constitutional guarantees of privacy and equal protection. Other nations with similar histories, legal systems, and
    political cultures have already answered these questions in the affirmative..This Court should pay due respect to these opinions of humankind."

    Robinson's brief also says, "Legal concepts like 'privacy,' 'liberty,' and 'equality' are not US property, but have global meaning." Robinson
    argues that the United States should be "construing these terms in light of foreign interpretations," even warning the Supreme Court that "To ignore these precedents virtually ensures that this Court's ruling will generate controversies with the United State's closest global allies."

    The brief seeks to isolate the Texas law, noting,". The fifteen member states of the European Union included sexual orientation as an
    impermissible ground of discrimination in two international instruments. Similarly, five of the six major UN human rights treaties have been
    interpreted by their respective supervisory organs to cover sexual orientation discrimination." This last point also troubles conservative scholars, since none of the UN treaties now interpreted as pro-homosexual
    explicitly mentions sexual orientation.

    If the Supreme Court continues to be guided by the decisions of the UN and the EU, US recognition of same-sex marriage could eventually follow suit. The Robinson brief cites a number of cases in the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel, which appear to create a foundation for same-sex
    marriage. In one decision, Israeli Chief Justice Barak wondered how "living together for persons of the same sex [was] different, with regard
    to the relationship of sharing and harmony and running the social unit, from this life of sharing for heterosexual couples?" According to members of the UK House of Lords, "the concept of 'family' is now to be regarded as extending to a homosexual partnership."

    Writing in dissent, Justice Scalia condemned the importation of foreign laws into US judicial deliberations: "Constitutional elements do not
    spring into the Court seems to believe, because foreign nations decriminalize conduct.. 'this Court.should not impose foreign
    moods, fads, or fashions on Americans.'"

    Copyright - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute). Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

    Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute
    866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 427
    New York, New York 10017
    Phone: (212) 754-5948 Fax: (212) 754-9291
    E-mail: [email protected] Website:
  2. mioque

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    New Member

    May 23, 2003
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    Since when do Baptists trust Roman Catholics?
    Since when do Roman Catholics oppose internationalism?
    Since when does anybody care about the European Court of Human Rights?
    (The court is part of the insignificant Council of Europe and not of the powerful EU.)
    Has the US stopped doing the exact opposite of Europe in legal matters?
    And if so, why didn't they tell anybody?
  3. fromtheright

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    <img src =/2844.JPG>

    Feb 21, 2002
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    I'm not worried about it. The Supreme Court didn't rely on the European Court's decision as any kind of legal precedent, only as an example of how prevalent the law they created was. The Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent in the Texas sodomy decision with or without Europe's influence. And an amicus brief has no legal standing.

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