From the American Friends Service Committee, June 26, 2003:

“We regard this as a victory in the struggle for justice, not only for
lesbians, gays, and bisexuals, but for all people,” said Mary Ellen McNish, AFSC general secretary. “At a time when we are
witnessing rapid erosion of basic constitutional rights, political assaults
on the legal framework of civil rights, and intrusive use of law enforcement
authority in this country, this ruling is particularly welcome.”

However, the AFSC is disappointed that the Court stopped short of affirming
the bedrock principle of equal protection under law, although the decision
states that, “Equality of treatment and the due process right to demand
respect for conduct protected by the substantive guarantee of liberty are
linked in important respects, and a decision on the latter part advances
both interests.” McNish said, “In matters of civil law, there should be a
single standard of justice applied equitably to all.”

With twenty-eight other religious organizations, including the Alliance of
Baptists, the American Jewish Committee, the Interfaith Alliance, the
General Synod of the United Church of Christ, and the Al-Fatiha Foundation,
AFSC joined an amicus curia (friend of the court) brief supporting the
challenge to the Texas law.

“While all of the religious organizations joining the amicus brief do not
share the same view concerning the religious and moral propriety of sexual
intimacy between same-sex partners, we are unanimous in our belief that
private, consensual sexual conduct between same-sex adults should not be
punished as a crime,” said McNish. “As our amicus brief suggests, where
conduct involves no harm or violence to others – no act of abuse, assault,
coercion, exploitation, or public indecency – governments should not attempt
to legislate codes of private morality. That is a matter for individuals,
families, and faith communities to decide. Ours is a nation of great
religious diversity, and in civil society, no one faith tradition can or
should speak for all in this regard.”

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