Texas attorney general ‘willing and able’ to make gay sex illegal

LGBTQ

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton says he’s “willing and able” to defend a state law banning sodomy if the Supreme Court revisits its landmark 2003 ruling. (Getty/Gabriella Demczuk)

Ken Paxton said he is “willing” to defend a ban on sodomy if the Supreme Court allows a challenge to its landmark ruling on same-sex sexual intimacy.

Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas suggested the court should reconsider all of its “substantive due process precedents” including right to same-sex marriage and contraception in light of Roe v Wade overturning Friday (24 June). The conservative justice wrote in a concurring opinion that the court should also look at its landmark 2003 Lawrence v Texas decision which made it illegal for states to ban same-sex sexual intimacy.

Paxton said during an appearance on NewsNation if he would “feel comfortable defending a law that once again outlawed sodomy” in the wake of Thomas’ concurring opinion.

“Yeah I mean, there’s all kinds of issues here. But certainly, the Supreme Court has stepped into issues that I don’t think there was any constitutional provision dealing with,” Paxton said. “They were legislative issues, and this is one of those issues and there may be more.”

The NewsNation host then point-blank asked Paxton: “You wouldn’t rule out that if the state legislature passed the exact same law that Lawrence overturned on sodomy, you wouldn’t have any problem then defending that and taking that case back to the Supreme Court?”

“Yeah look, my job is to defend the state law, and I’ll continue to do that,” the Texas attorney general replied. “That is my job under the Constitution, and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”

The Republican state official added that he would first have to “take a look at” any proposal from the Texas state legislature that could potentially lead to Lawrence being overturned before his office “could defend it”. 

Paxton’s comments drew swift condemnation on social media. Many people on Twitter said his statements confirmed fears that the Supreme Court ruling could lead to a rollback on LGBTQ+ and other civil rights in the US. 

Ken Paxton has proven multiple times that he is decidedly not an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. 

The Texas attorney general face immense backlash after he labeled gender-affirming medical care for trans youth as “child abuse” in a non-binding legal opinion in February. Shortly afterward, Republican governor Greg Abbott ordered state officials to begin investigating families of trans kids and medical professionals involved in such practices. 

The effort to erase trans kids in Texas led to a fierce legal battle that made it to the state’s Supreme Court. 

The Texas Supreme Court ruled in May that the state must stop an investigation into the family of one trans teen who brought their case to the courts, but the ruling also lifted the statewide injunction stopping such investigations into other parents of trans youth. 

However, the ruling declared that Abbott doesn’t have the authority or power to order the state’s child to carry out these investigations. 

In March, Ken Paxton declared a Texas school’s week-long Pride event was “immoral and illegal” before referring to LGBTQ+ people as “sexual propagandists and predators”. Despite Paxton’s tantrum, the school district said it was “proud” of all its LGBTQ+ students and “will protect them against political attacks”. 

Paxton also intentionally misgendered US assistant health secretary Dr Rachel Levine in a Twitter post in March. His post was flagged by Twitter as “hateful conduct”, but the social media platform left the tweet up with just a warning about the content. 


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