He’s such a nice guy, that Antonin Scalia.
Speaking at Princeton University in his native New Jersey, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.
“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.
“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.
Uh huh. So can we have moral feelings against race? How about against Jews?
Scalia is known for being a bit of a partisan ass (which only made it funnier when Scalia complained a few years back that judges have become too partisan). Scalia once gave the “FU” sign to reporters at church. And his written opinions, as the student noted, routinely give the FU to gays.
Among his more outrageous opinions, Scalia once lamented that if we don’t let states ban gays from having sex then states will also lose the right to ban masturbation. This is from his infamous dissent in the Lawrence v. Texas case that found state sodomy laws unconstitutional:
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding…. The impossibility of distinguishing homosexuality from other traditional “morals” offenses is precisely why Bowers rejected the rational-basis challenge. “The law,” it said, “is constantly based on notions of morality, and if all laws representing essentially moral choices are to be invalidated under the Due Process Clause, the courts will be very busy indeed.”
What a massive disruption of the current social order, therefore, the overruling of Bowers entails.
So, how exactly does Scalia think a state should regulate masturbation? I mean, how do you figure out “original intent” when it comes to the acceptable 18th century technique for spanking the proverbial Founding monkey? Can’t you just see Scalia, a brandy in one hand, a pipe in the other, assembling his fawning young clerks around a roaring fire, and posing the age-old question:
“How did Thomas Jefferson masturbate?”
Scalia’s absurd opinion led us to celebrate “Happy Sodomy Day!” back in 2006, when the Congress was debating passage of the Marriage Protection Act, which would have denied courts jurisdiction over cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA. A lot of Republicans were on board, in the name of defending traditional marriage of course. So we wanted to know just how traditional their marriages were. So we called and asked them. Oh, and this was the graphic we used for the campaign:
First up, then-US Senator George Allen’s office (R-VA):
ALLEN’S OFFICE: Good morning, Senator Allen’s office
AMERICABLOG READER: Yes I’m calling to see if the senator supports traditional marriage.
OFFICE: Yes he does, he supports the bill.
READER: Okay, and he’s divorced?
OFFICE: Uh (uncomfortably) yes sir.
READER: Yes, okay.
OFFICE: (she quickly adds) But he’s remarried.
READER: What was the cause of his divorce? Do you know the reason? Is his wife remarried?
OFFICE: I don’t know, it was a long time ago sir.
READER: Okay, could you tell me if the senator masturbates?
OFFICE: I’m sorry, I can’t answer these questions.
READER: Can you tell me, do you masturbate?
Is Senator Crapo in favor of traditional marriage?
Yes he is, he’s a cosponsor of the bill.
He is? Can you tell me if he masturbates?
I could not tell you that.
Can you tell me, do you masturbate?
I cannot tell you that either.
Can you tell me, does he commit sodomy, analingus, cunnilingus or fellatio?
What is the purpose of this questioning?
It’s regarding his views on traditional marriage.
Okay, he supports the bill.
Yes, but could you tell me does he commit sodomy?
I could not give you an answer on that.
Is he willing to pledge that he has not or will not commit sodomy?
I could not answer that.
Has he ever had sex before or outside of marriage?
Again, sir, what is the point of this questioning?
It’s regarding traditional marriage and how far his support goes.
Any one of those questions I could not answer.
Have you ever had sex outside of marriage?
Again, I will not answer that.
It’s nobody’s business, right?
Okay, thank you.
Brilliant. If people like Scalia think sodomy should be illegal, then it’s fair to ask the man if he’s law-breaker. The student who asked Scalia about his personal at-home sodomy got some flak for his question. He responded in a wonderful letter we posted years ago:
I am 17 months out of a lifelong closet and have lost too much time to heterosexist hegemony to tolerate those who say, as Dr. King put it, “just wait.” If you cannot stomach a breach of decorum when justified outrage erupts then your support is nearly worthless anyway. At least do not allow yourselves to become complicit in discrimination by demanding obedience from its victims.
Many of our classmates chose NYU over higher-ranked schools because of our reputation as a “private university in the public service” and our commitment to certain values. We were the first law school to require that employers pledge not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Of Scalia’s law schools that have “signed on to the homosexual agenda,” our signature stands out like John Hancock’s. We won a federal injunction in the FAIR litigation as an “expressive association” that counts acceptance of sexual orientation as a core value. Those who worry about our school’s prestige should remember how we got here and consider whether flattering those who mock what we believe and are otherwise willing to fight for appears prestigious or pathetic. We protestors did not embarrass NYU, Scalia embarrassed NYU. We stood up to a bigot for the values that make NYU more than a great place to learn the law.
We could all benefit from standing up to a few more bigots.