Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians V. the Supreme Court

StoryJune 08, 2001
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Chief Justice Earl Warren once signed an opinion in which a six-member majority of the Supreme Court referred to people "afflicted with homosexuality." His successor, Warren E. Burger, once wrote of gays as "sex deviates." The current chief justice, William H. Rehnquist, likened a university’s refusal to recognize a gay student group to measures necessary to prevent the spread of measles.

In a country which still blatantly–and legally–discriminates against gays and lesbians, such attitudes on the nation’s highest court have far-reaching practical consequences. Gays and lesbians cannot marry. Due to centuries-old anti-sodomy laws still on the books in many states, it is illegal for gays to have some kinds of sex. It is still legal in most states to discriminate against and even fire people for their sexual orientation.

Just last June, the nation’s highest court ruled that the Boy Scouts had the right to dismiss a gay scoutmaster. According to the Boy Scout Oath and Law, scouts must be "morally straight," which is defined in the Scout Handbook as being "clean" and "guid[ing] your life with honesty, purity and justice." The Boy Scouts argued that they believe homosexual conduct is not "morally straight" and "clean." The five justices in the majority said that the group’s ability to advocate this viewpoint would be adversely affected if they couldn’t exclude gays.

As gay pride month continues, we will spend the rest of the hour with Joyce Murdock and Deb Price, long-time journalists (and partners), who have just come out with a new book, 'Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court.'

Guests:

  • Joyce Murdock, co-author of Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court and managing editor for politics of the National Journal
  • Deb Price, co-author of Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court and columnist for The Detroit News

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation