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Fourteenth District Opinion of the Court of Appeals of Texas March (15,) (2001)

Statement Of The Case

Appellants, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, were convicted of engaging in homosexual conduct. They were each assessed a fine of two hundred dollars. On appeal, appellants challenge the constitutionality of Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, contending it offends the equal protection and privacy guarantees assured by both the state and federal constitutions. For the reasons set forth below, we find no constitutional infringement.

While investigating a reported "weapons disturbance," police entered a residence where they observed appellants engaged in deviate sexual intercourse.1 It is a Class C misdemeanor in the State of Texas for a person to engage "in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex." TEX. PEN. CODE ANN. § 21.06 (Vernon 1994). However, because appellants subsequently entered pleas of nolo contendere, the facts and circumstances of the offense are not in the record. Accordingly, appellants did not challenge at trial, and do not contest on appeal, the propriety of the police conduct leading to their discovery and arrest. Thus, the narrow issue presented here is whether Section 21.06 is facially unconstitutional.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentFourteenth District Opinion of the Court of Appeals of Texas March (15,) (2001) - In Court Of Appeals Of Texas, Fourteenth District, Houstonno. 14–99–00109–cr No. 14–99–00111–cr