Two Texas men arrested in their bedroom and charged with sodomy were fined $125 each on Friday but vowed to fight a state law that forbids homosexual conduct.
John Lawrence, 55, and Tyrone Garner, 31, pleaded no contest before a Houston area judge and their attorneys immediately filed an appeal in county criminal court. "I hope we get the law changed. I feel like my civil rights was violated and I wasn't doing anything wrong," said Garner.
Lawrence seemed still to be smarting from the humiliating arrest. "It was sort of Gestapo," he said.
Sheriff's deputies burst into the bedroom on Sept. 17 while investigating what turned out to be a false report of an armed man running amok at Lawrence's home.
They spent a night in jail after being charged under Texas's sodomy law which has been part of the state penal code for over a century.
Suzanne Goldberg, an attorney with the New York-based Lambda civil rights group who is representing the two men, said the Texas law forbidding homosexual conduct was an "outrageous intrusion" into the private lives of gay men and lesbians.