Why Ron Paul Supported Texas’ Anti-Sodomy Law

Digby:

Here’s what Paul published on the Web site of Lew Rockwell — allegedly one of the authors of his racist, homophobic newsletters — about the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas that struck down the state’s anti-sodomy laws, which prohibited sex between men:

The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment “right to privacy.” Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights — rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards. But rather than applying the real Constitution and declining jurisdiction over a properly state matter, the Court decided to apply the imaginary Constitution and impose its vision on the people of Texas.

This plays neatly into the hands of Paul’s Christian Reconstructionist friends, who seek the destruction of the federal government for the opportunity to implement “God’s law” on earth.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    How does Paul’s statement, that no Constitutional right to privacy exists, mesh with his Libertarian viewpoints? (Alas, bigotry and hatred resist logic.)
    Interesting op-ed piece in the Sunday NY Times, about Paul’s supporters. Basically, it says that Paul connects with folks who like to wear tinfoil hats. Each hangs their hat on one of a wide variety of scattered Paul issues. No real consensus but on the whole enough of a group to be noticed.
    Here’s hoping Paul finishes in the top three in Idaho.

    • terrymac says:

      There is consistency among the core positions – which are a much smaller federal budget, a sound dollar, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. These are the main planks which Ron Paul stresses over and over again. If you listen to any of his rallies for the past several years, you can’t help but notice the “End the Fed” chants and the applause when these main planks are mentioned. It is absurd to claim that there is “no real consensus.”
      That said, do every one of us agree with every jot and tittle? Not at all; nor are we required to.

      For instance, I do not fear the rediscovery of negative rights, such as the right to be left alone in the privacy of one’s bedroom. Nor do I find such a right to be incompatible with the rest of the Constitution. Ask this question: can anti-sodomy laws be enforced without violating the 4th and 5th amendments? The Lawrence v. Texas ruling didn’t actually legalize all sodomy; rape laws still stand. It struck down those rules which regulate private adult consensual noncommercial sex – laws which simply cannot be enforced without violating the Bill of Rights.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        I think the key to understanding Ron Paul is to just put the libertarian thing to one side, and look at the ways he is similar to Pat Buchanan. Same anti-tax, anti-regulatory posture, same right-wing isolationist views (much more common prior to neoconservate takeover of the Republican Party), same opposition to abortion, same repugnant views on racial politics.

    • Mark says:

      Looking at it the other way. Read the Constitution and tell us which part of it guarantees privacy.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        Come on dude, he clearly supported the law. Maybe if you don’t care about the policy outcome and you only care about a hyper-literal reading of the Constitution you can justify it. Personally, I’m a consequentialist. The consequences of this law are morally unacceptable. It’s good that SCOTUS overturned it.

  2. BZ says:

    @Anonymous: Ron Paul’s Constitutionalism is indeed irreconcilable with Libertarianism on many issues — and Mr. Geeting rightly points one out. However, I can’t go along with all the bigoted ad-hominem generalizations about his supporters. A more coherent theory might be that, unlike the loyal Democrats and Republicans, his supporters actually care about repealing the Patriot Act, endless imperialist war, recent NDAA abuses, and corporate handouts.

  3. Trent Hamm says:

    Ron Paul is an absolutist. There are going to be parts of that absolutism that people like. There are going to be parts that they don’t like. I give the man credit for sticking to principles, but I am wary about the potential traps. Still, I’d rather see the Republican Party having these discussions than having discussions about who can bomb more Muslims and who is more Christian.

  4. Mark says:

    Why does the title of this piece say “Why Ron Paul Supported Texas’ Anti-Sodomy Law”, when an except from his quote is “Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be…” Opposing the SCOTUS decision on the basis of lack of Constitutional authority is not the same as supporting the laws that decision overturned.

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