Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Anne C. Hydorin


After the Supreme Court's holding in Bowers v. Hardwick, the Third and Fourth Circuits were split over whether Bowers impliedly extended to forced disclosure of sexual orientation and private homosexual activity. This Note argues that Bowers does not protect forced disclosure of sexual orientation and that the Constitution protects our right to "be let alone" and preserves expected matters of confidentiality from unwarranted government intrusion. In other words, certain private matters must be beyond the unfettered reach of the state. Permitting the government to force an individual to disclose his or her sexual orientation offends this privacy jurisprudence. The Note surveys contexts in which forced disclosure issues most often arise and explains why it is essential that the right to privacy extend to these areas. The author concludes that based on right to privacy jurisprudence and despite the holding in Bowers, the right of privacy should and does extend to protect the privacy of sexual orientation.