Bowers v. Hardwick case brief summary478 U.S. 186 (1986)
CASE SYNOPSISOn certiorari, the state challenged a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, that ruled that Ga. Code Ann. § 16-6-2 unconstitutionally violated respondent's fundamental rights under the due process clause, U.S. Constitutional Amendment XVI, in that it criminalized consensual sodomy.
Respondent was charged with violating O.G.C.A. § 16-6-2 (1984), which criminalized sodomy. Respondent allegedly engaged in sodomy with another adult male in the bedroom of his home. After the district attorney decided not to present the matter to the grand jury unless further evidence developed, respondent brought suit in federal district court, challenging the constitutionality of the statute insofar as it criminalized consensual sodomy. The court of appeals held that § 16-6-2 violated respondent's fundamental rights because his homosexual activity was a private and intimate association that was beyond the reach of state regulation by reason of U.S. Constitutional amendments XI and XIV.
- Reversing that judgment, the Court held that the Due Process Clause of U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV did not confer any fundamental right on homosexuals to engage in acts of consensual sodomy, even if the conduct occurred in the privacy of their own homes.
The Court reversed the court of appeals' decision.
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