A spokesman for Cruz told The Dallas Morning News, “Consenting adults should be able to do what they wish in their private sexual activity, and government has no business in their bedrooms.”
Texas law contains a provision banning “homosexual conduct,” specifically making it a Class C misdemeanor to have “deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.” Deviate sexual intercourse is defined in state law.
The Legislature enacted the law against homosexuality in the 1970s. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and no jail time.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas that the statute is unconstitutional. If the court overturned Lawrence, someone could be prosecuted for homosexual activity.
In the recent case reversing Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas remarked that the nation’s high court should revisit the Lawrence decision.
In 2005, Texas voters passed an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman.” The constitution further prohibits “any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
However, in its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges ten years later, the Supreme Court invalidated this and other states’ constitutional provisions defining marriage to exclude same-sex couples.
The Republican Party of Texas condemned homosexuality in its 2022 platform, calling it an “abnormal lifestyle choice.”
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."