THE NEWS: Now that Rick Perry is officially running for president, political operatives will be scrambling to dig up whatever they can to use against him. One juicy tidbit: When a Texas law banning anal and oral sex involving same-sex couples was struck down as unconstitutional, Perry demurred, calling the law "appropriate."
THE PROVOCATION: Perry shouldn't be too concerned. Was anyone in the LGBT community really going to vote for him anyway?
Still, this blatantly bigoted stance should sound alarm bells far beyond that constituency. The case in question, Lawrence v. Texas, involved two Houston residents, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner. They were arrested after they were found engaging in consensual anal sex at Lawrence's apartment. Why were police at the home? Because Garner's apparently jealous lover, neighbor Robert Eubanks, filed a false police report of a "weapons disturbance" at the home.
Eubanks would spend 15 days in jail after pleading guilty to filing a false police report.
The two men arrested challenged the "Homosexual Conduct Law" on grounds that it violated their guarantees to due process and equal protection.
Yet, when the case was making its way through the courts, Perry defended it, saying, "I think our law is appropriate that we have on the books." Later, in a book he wrote titled Fed Up! he grouped the decision with one prohibiting student-led prayers at school football games and the issue of posting the Ten Commandments in a public square. His reaction to the Supreme Court: " ... we have had to kiss the ring of the Court and have done so, sometimes successfully, sometimes not." He concluded: "It seems we Texans have a different view of the world than do the nine oligarchs in robes."
Perry's response to people who don't like the way they do things in Texas - specifically concerning same-sex marriage? "Texans made a decision about marriage and if there's a state that has more lenient views than Texas, then maybe that's a better place for them to live."
Maybe Perry should find another place to live if he doesn't want to be in a nation that respects individual rights and freedoms. His values seem closer to those of the Taliban's than to those of a free society.