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Justice of the Peace Mike Parrott found them guilty and imposed a 0 fine and court costs of .25 on each defendant.

He then reasoned that because state intrusions are equally burdensome on an individual's personal life regardless of his marital status or sexual orientation, there is no reason to treat the rights of citizens in same-sex couples any differently.

By the time of the Lawrence decision, ten states—Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Utah and Virginia—still banned consensual sodomy without respect to the sex of those involved, and four—Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri—prohibited same-sex couples from engaging in anal and oral sex.

Attorneys for Lawrence and Garner asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest appellate court in Texas for criminal matters, to review the case.

After a year's delay, on April 17, 2002, that request was denied.

Their attorneys asked the court to dismiss the charges against them on Fourteenth Amendment equal protection grounds, claiming that the law was unconstitutional since it prohibited sodomy between same-sex couples, but not between heterosexual couples.