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During the past decade gays and lesbians have become more assertive in expressing their rights within American society Although gay people are gaining legal rights and protection they continue to be victims of discriminatory laws and social intolerance Issues such as whether gays belong in the military in the clergy or in the teaching profession have stirred the passions of many people However the concern with condemning the sexual practices of gays and lesbians is the issue that remains at the center of attention These sexual practices anal and oral sex have been prohibited by the government through sodomy laws These laws state that any sexual act between two consenting adults of the same gender is criminal behavior and therefore it is a criminal offense In 1986 sodomy laws were found as constitutional in the landmark case of Bowers vs Hardwick By a vote of five to four the Supreme Court of the United States overturned an earlier decision of sodomy laws the court concluded that sodomy laws did not violate the fundamental rights of homosexuals In addition the court justified these discriminatory laws because American social mores are deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition which apparently condemns homosexuality and its practices ACLU Paper Gay and Lesbian rights Through these laws and beliefs confidence is given to people in order to justify their discrimination towards gays and lesbians However what the government fails to see is that sodomy laws infringe on a persons right to personal liberty especially that of a gay persons life Not only are these people being denied the humanizing experience of self-expression they are also being culturally oppressed These kinds of laws should be eliminated because they violate a persons right to love anyone intimately a persons right to privacy and autonomy and a persons right from government intrusion at any given time First through sodomy laws the government is depriving many individuals of their most profound feelings of affection by
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