Golden Gate University Law Review


Daniel Gordon


Matti Bunzl in Symptoms of Modernity: Jews and Queers in Late-Twentieth Century Vienna expressed great faith in the multicultural fairness of American Society. Bunzl recognized the threat of Christian Conservatives in the United States to gay and lesbian civil rights and civil liberties, and he evidenced some skepticism of American multiculturalism. However, overall Bunzl remained optimistic about the future of civil rights for gays and lesbians in the United States noting "it was in the United States that a postmodern sensibility of minority politics was pioneered.'' This article utilizes Bunzl's work along with the work of urban religion sociologists to examine the symbolic meaning of Justice Scalia's and the Texas Appellate Court's negativism toward gays and lesbians. For Justice Scalia and the Texas legal system, gays and lesbians served as symptoms of modernity and modern urban growth. First, this article reviews Lawrence in its state and federal contexts. Then, the article develops Bunzl's basic theory about gays and lesbians serving as "abject symptoms of the modern nation-state. Next, the article reviews the patrimonial aspects of urban growth. Then, the article analyzes Justice Scalia's dissent and the Texas Court of Appeal's opinion in Lawrence in the light of Bunzl's anthropological construct and religious sociology's urban growth theory. Finally, the article closes looking towards a brighter future where through globalization gays and lesbians may find themselves as members and not abject others in American society.