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06/26/2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Daniel A. Cirucci

Phone: (215) 238-6340


Chancellor Applauds Supreme Court Decision in Texas Sodomy Case

Calling it a "victory for everyone," Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Audrey C. Talley today hailed the United States Supreme Court's decision striking down a Texas law that criminalized homosexual sodomy.  "This ruling is really a victory for the right to privacy and a victory for equal treatment for everyone," Talley said.  "In that sense it is a victory for everyone because as Justice Anthony Kennedy noted, all people are entitled to respect for their private lives.' "

The Chancellor said that the 6-3 decision "sends a clear and unmistakable message that such infringements are an unconstitutional violation of privacy.  As the majority opinion stated," Talley explained, "a state cannot demean the existence of people or control their destiny by making private sexual conduct a crime."

"This is the right decision," the Chancellor added.  Talley noted that the Philadelphia Bar Association has long supported gay rights "and the right of all people to live their lives in freedom and dignity under the law.  This is a basic American tenet and we will continue to support it."

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