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10/31/2012

Bryan Fischer says 'in fact'; in fact, is factually wrong

by Jeremy Hooper

From American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer's article lamenting gay people's right to privacy:

In fact, the Supreme Court correctly ruled in 1999 that “a person has no constitutional right to engage in sexual intercourse, at least outside of marriage." It is perfectly permissible and constitutional to take all forms of sexual intercourse that occur outside the union of one man and one woman in marriage and make them contrary to public policy. [AFA]

Only thing? That snip, while it is from 1999, is *not* from SCOTUS! It's from a Maryland case, Timothy R. Owens v. State of Maryland, that focused on statutory rape. Circuit Court for Baltimore County opinion:

The state’s overwhelming interest in protecting children from these risks outweighs any interest that the individual may have in engaging in sexual relations with children near the age of consent. Although we need not reach the issue, it has been held that a person has no constitutional right to engage in sexual intercourse, at least outside of marriage, and sexual conduct frequently is subject to state regulation.
Owens v. State [MD Courts]

That court did rely, in part, on Bowers v. Hardwick, a wrongly-decided, 5-4 SCOTUS opinion that upheld Georgia's sodomy law. But this court, thirteen years after Bowers and only a handful of years before Lawrence v. Texas (which knocked down sodomy laws), was not setting the sort of SCOTUS precedent that Bryan claims it did.

In fact, Bryan is factually wrong. Shocker.

***

(*tip of the hat to Alan Eckert for drawing my attn to this)

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