On September 17, 1998, in response to an armed robbery call, Houston police burst in to the home of John Lawrence
. The police didn’t find a robber (nor would they – the call was deliberately false), but they did find Lawrence having sex with another man, Tyrone Garner. Lawrence and Garner were promptly charged with “engaging in homosexual conduct,” a misdemeanor under Texas law. They paid their fine and began a long legal challenge to Texas’ anti-sodomy law. That challenge has finally reached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear their appeal early next year
. Standing in the way is the Court’s own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick
, in which it held that anti-sodomy laws are constitutional
. That may be about to change.