|The Texas man whose case led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that granted privacy rights to gay men and lesbians has died at age 68.
John G. Lawrence died in Houston on Nov. 20, according to Sarah Wilson of R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. Lawrence died of a heart condition, his partner, Jose Garcia, told the Houston Chronicle.
Mitchell Katine, a Houston attorney who represented Lawrence in the case Lawrence vs. Texas, told the newspaper he learned of his client's death Saturday while trying to invite him to an April celebration of the 2003 ruling.
The case began in 1998 when a neighbor with a grudge faked a distress call to police, telling them that a man was "going crazy" in Lawrence's apartment just outside Houston. Police went to the home, pushed open the door and found Lawrence and Tyrone Garner having sex. Both paid $200 fines after spending several hours in the county jail for alleged violation of the state sodomy statute, a misdemeanor.