Stories about right-wing antigay figures saying one thing and doing quite another seem to come forth at a regular, if not accelerating, pace. These two deal with two important events in GLBT legal history before the U.S. Supreme Court: The Lawrence v. Texas case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned sodomy laws, and the Romer v. Evans case, dealing with Colorado's infamous Proposition 2.
In both situations, it's now been reported that important "movers and shakers" fighting against GLBT rights didn't quite live up to the lofty principles of morality and traditional values that some words they crafted and proclaimed.
The first revelation involves former Houston District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, who represented the Texas before the U.S. Supreme Court back in 2002 when the Court was considering whether Texas could legally prevent gays from engaging in private sex acts. The Court ultimately overturned the Texas anti-sodomy statute, as well as similar laws throughout the country. In his argument before the nine Justices, Rosenthal righteously expounded:
Even if you infer that various States acting through their legislative process have repealed sodomy laws, there is no protected right to engage in extrasexual -- extramarital sexual relations, again, that can trace their roots to history or the traditions of this nation.
Now, it turns out, thanks to some E-mails that he unsuccessfully tried to delete from his computer, investigators have found sexually explicit video clips and love-notes to Rosenthal's secretary, who had been identified as his mistress during his previous marriage. Throw in for good measure a cartoon depicting an African-American suffering from a "fatal overdose" of watermelon and fried chicken. Rosenthal has resigned in the wake of a federal lawsuit.
As if that bit of hypocrisy wasn't enough, the former district attorney is now citing the very case which he lost in order to protect him from further embarrassment over his retained E-mail. The New York Times reports that he has sought to keep the messages sealed, citing "zones of privacy" carved out by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas.
Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I always say.
Then there is the situation concerning Robert Skolrood. He wrote Proposition 2, a 1992 Colorado initiative that barred a wide range of legal protections for gays and lesbians. It was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Romer vs. Evans. In 1993 Skolrood also authored a similar initiative in Cincinnati, which was ultimately overturned by the democratic process. His recent obituary in the New York Times noted, along with these items, that Skilrood had been later arrested on charges of uttering obscenities and making sexual advances toward a male undercover policeman in Virginia. He denied all charges at trial, but pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct. According to The Roanoke Times, Magistrate Judge Glen Conrad said, "That area has been notorious for problems of an unsavory sort," adding that "there's no question that you shouldn't have been there.'"
Ted Haggard, move over. Larry Craig, well, reduce your wide stance a bit to make some room in the pew. Looks as if the congregation just keeps getting larger.