Tyron Garner and John Geddes Lawrence were arrested the night of September 17, 1998, after police responded to a call claiming that a black man was “going crazy with a gun” in Lawrence’s apartment just outside Houston. No gun was ever found at the scene. The men were arrested, the police said, for having sex. They pled no contest to violating a Texas sodomy law, a Class C misdemeanor.
Lambda Legal launched a petition drive calling on the state of Texas and Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott to implement and abide by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), the federal law signed by former President George W. Bush to address the problem of prison rape across the country. Texas is one of only seven states that has refused to comply with PREA.
Lambda Legal today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Passion Star, a transgender woman currently in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), arguing that TCDJ officials have displayed deliberate indifference to threats of sexual assault and violence against Ms. Star in TDCJ’s male facilities.
Today Lambda Legal filed suit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Kathy Murphy, a Texas widow denied spousal benefits after the death of her wife, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (the National Committee), arguing that denying Social Security benefits to same-sex spouses because they live in states that discriminate against their marriages violates the U.S. Constitution.
It’s only Thursday and already so much has happened since Monday, when the Supreme Court announced that it would not take up cases from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin that struck down state bans on marriage for same-sex couples — making it possible for same-sex couples to begin marrying in those five states.
Immediately after U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas’ discriminatory ban denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry, Texas Governor Rick Perry attacked the ruling in the statement released by his office.