Winner of U.S. Supreme Court landmark gay rights case dies

Photo: Flickr/rcpence

HOUSTON (AP) - 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 Nov. 20, according to Sarah Wilson of R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas.

Lawrence's partner, Jose Garcia, told the Houston Chronicle he died of a heart condition.

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 inviting him to a celebration of the ruling.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Lawrence and another man in 1998 after finding them having sex at Lawrence's home near Houston.

The 2003 Supreme Court ruling struck down the Texas anti-sodomy statute crime.