Constitutional Law

State officials cite Dobbs as reason to support anti-sodomy law, transgender-treatment ban

  • Print.

Texas Alabama maps

Images from Shutterstock.

Some state officials see the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the right to abortion as reason to support measures that would outlaw gay sex and ban medical transitioning treatments for transgender youths.

The June 24 decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturned Roe v. Wade, the opinion establishing a constitutional right to abortion.

“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” the Supreme Court said in Dobbs.

A concurring justice, Justice Clarence Thomas, had argued that other precedents based on substantive due process should also be reconsidered, including the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas. The 2003 decision struck down Texas’ criminal ban on sodomy.

Now, attorneys general in Texas and Alabama say Dobbs supports any resurrected anti-sodomy law and a ban on transgender medical treatments.

In Texas, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would be willing to defend a state law criminalizing sodomy if the Supreme Court revisits the issue, the Washington Post reports.

Paxton told the NewsNation cable channel that he might be willing to defend the defunct sodomy ban, depending on what it said, and he would be “willing and able” to defend any new sodomy ban before the Supreme Court.

“Yeah, look, my job is to defend state law, and I’ll continue to do that,” Paxton said. “That is my job under the Constitution, and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”

In Alabama, meanwhile, Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed a brief asking a federal appeals court to lift an injunction blocking a law banning medical treatments for transgender youths, the Associated Press reports. Banned treatments include puberty blockers and hormones.

Using wording from Dobbs, the Alabama brief says the state can ban gender transition treatments because they are not “deeply rooted in our history or traditions.”

Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told the AP that this is the first time that a state cited Dobbs in a case regarding another legal issue. But “it won’t be the last,” Minter said.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.