Right to Privacy: Constitutional Rights & Privacy Laws
Similarly, Bowers v. Hardwick was wrongly decided not only because it makes it too easy for states to prohibit certain kinds of consensual sex acts, which should not be illegal in the first place and stigmatize certain sexual minorities (particularly gay men), but, just as importantly, because anti sodomy laws interfere with the intimacy that any couple may try to develop and express as they come to know each other more than superficially. The anti-sodomy law in Georgia applied to all couples, including the most committed ones, and was not simply about the right to perform certain kinds of sex acts in the privacy of one’s home for bodily pleasure. To reduce all sexual activity to such pleasure or procreation is to be obtuse. That is not to say that all couples always want to be physically intimate with each other, but it is to say that most of them do and that to make anal and oral sex illegal is to deprive any committed couple of what might be an essential part of the kind of intimacy they want to have. That such an act cannot result in reproduction is beside the constitutional point. When it interferes in this manner, with such a flimsy justification that relies on a narrow interpretation of tradition, the state exceeds its authority. As long as what the couple is doing is consensual and they are not breaking other valid laws, the couple should be able to relate to each other however they please.
The right to privacy often means the right to personal autonomy, ..
Nine state constitutions had a privilege against self-incrimination when the Fifth Amendment became law in 1791.
In determining the scope of the rights at stake as well as the remedies available for their violation, the Supreme Court has taken explicit account of governmental needs and has sought to strike a workable balance between those needs and informational privacy.
Marriage doesn’t proscribe conduct or prevent individuals from living how they want to live. It doesn’t prohibit intimate relationships or curtail one’s constitutional rights. Federal legislation that protects marriage as a binding, exclusive, and procreative relationship has the public purposes of marriage—most notably, to continue human existence—at heart. The effort to repeal DOMA, however, tries to replace these essential public purposes of marriage with various private purposes. Our discussion of DOMA and its repeal should not be about the private reasons why individuals marry, why the institution of marriage benefits any particular couple, or why any two people should or should not marry. Instead, we must speak about social policy for our country as a whole and the government’s interest in marriage as an institution.
Is the right to privacy explicitly enumerated ..
Amatonormativity resembles heteronormativity in several respects. For example, both of them can emerge from a fear or intolerance of difference. Just as gays and lesbians have been the “other” in a society like our own in which straight persons constitute a majority and being straight is considered normal, these days polygamists often serve as a stand-in for sexual deviance, even when they are heterosexual. In terms of the granting of marriage licenses, race is and sexual orientation (gender) should be legally irrelevant. At the time of this Article’s publication, only thirteen states continue to exclude same-sex couples from the institution. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari in several cases involving such states. The issue of same-sex marriage implicates multi-person intimate relationships inasmuch as the legal definition of marriage may fail to be sufficiently inclusive. Some scholars believe that the debates over same-sex and plural marriage are not analogous. After all, one could believe they are different in at least two relevant ways. First, linking them may be a misguided political strategy. Second, the reasons that do not warrant treating same-sex couples differently than their opposite-sex counterparts nevertheless may justify treating multi-person intimate relationships differently. Unfortunately, too many progressives are too eager to differentiate same-sex from plural marriage so that they can establish a constitutional right to the former without proving too much and thereby also making room for a right to the latter. During the hearings that preceded the passage of the DOMA, some of those who testified equated polygamy with same-sex marriage.
The right to privacy is not explicitly enumerated in the U.S
The same-sex marriage debate is instructive because it is not just about whether states are acting unconstitutionally when they deny same-sex couples marriage licenses. It is also about the meaning of the “m” word under conditions of moral pluralism, how the state should be involved in the institution, how Americans should interpret marital equality, and when, if ever, the marital choice of competent adults ought to be limited. Oddly enough, recent arguments in defense of same-sex marriage have a noticeably conservative dimension: those who defend it, in the name of marital equality, are determined to show that legal recognition will reinforce the traditional understanding of marriage in which two, and no more than two, persons are committed to each other in a long-term, sexually exclusive relationship. The gender of each person in the dyad is neither here nor there. That strategy, while shrewd, has the unintended consequence of perpetuating “amatonormativity,” the unjustified favoring of sexual dyads at the expense of other equally worthwhile intimate relationships.