Originally published on Advocate.com July 26 2003 12:00 AM ET
The Gulfport, Miss., city council has voted 5-1 to condemn the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of the Texas sodomy law prohibiting gay sex. Councilman Billy Hewes, who introduced the resolution criticizing the high court's decision during Tuesday's council meeting, said the ruling "corrupts the moral fiber of this nation." In June the justices ruled that the Texas law that made gay sex a crime was an unconstitutional intrusion into people's private matters. The ruling invalidated similar laws in 12 other states, including Mississippi. Hewes said the ruling is "the worst thing to happen to this country since they took prayer out of schools."
Jody Renaldo, director of Equality Mississippi, a statewide gay rights organization, told Hewes he was elected to serve all the people, including gays. Speaking to the council, Renaldo said many gay men and lesbians own homes and pay taxes in Gulfport and deserve the same rights as other residents.