Press Releases

Lawrence v. Texas Five Years Later Civil Rights Milestone or Promise Unfulfilled?

Media Advisory
May 30 th 2008

Oroma Mpi, 212-382-6713


Lawrence v. Texas Five Years Later
Civil Rights Milestone or Promise Unfulfilled?

When: Monday, June 2, 2008 ; 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
 Where: New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street (between 5 th & 6 th Ave. )

When the U.S. Supreme Court decided Lawrence v. Texas in the summer of 2003, the decision was hailed as “a legal victory so decisive that it would change the entire landscape for the LGBT community” and the “ Brown v. Board of gay and lesbian America .” Was this expansive view of Lawrence warranted?

In the five years since Lawrence was decided, advocates have relied on the decision in seeking to:

· invalidate age of consent laws that differed based on sexual orientation

· invalidate state anti-cohabitation statutes

· expand traditional state regulations on marriage for same-sex couples

· overturn laws banning the sale of sex toys

· repeal the U.S. military’s ban on sodomy

How successful have these efforts been? Join an evening of lively discussion, featuring academic, judicial, and practitioner perspectives, as we assess the significance of the Lawrence decision. The symposium will include discussion of the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that provides a new interpretation of Lawrence in a case involving the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.


Dean, University of California , Irvine , School of Law

Justice, Supreme Court, New York County
Author of the trial court decision in Hernandez v. Robles (NY same-sex marriage case)

Staff Attorney, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project

Professor of Law, New York Law School , and Editor, Lesbian/Gay Law Notes

Sponsored by:

New York City Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Committee, Allen A. Drexel and Adrienne M. Mundy-Shephard, Co-Chairs; New York County Lawyers’ Association’s LGBT Issues Committee, David J. Ward, Chair.

Co-Sponsored by:

LeGaL (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Law Association of Greater NY) ; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center .

or further details about this program, email David Ward at

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association ( was founded in 1870, and since then has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.