Whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing on same-sex marriage, history tells us that whenever the forces battling for equality reach a tipping point (as they inevitably do), there is no stopping them. Marriage equality will be the law of the land this June…and if not, then some other June in the near future.
And when that history is written, one of the chief villains in this sordid tale of intolerance and ignorance will be Justice Antonin Scalia – for what sets this Supreme Court justice apart from every other bigot fighting to restrict rights, is the special joy Scalia takes in defending his homophobia.
Here are a couple of examples from a Mother Jone’s piece on the 7 worst things Scalia has ever said about homosexuality.
In 2003, during oral arguments in Lawrence v. Texas, the case challenging a Texas law that criminalized homosexual sex, Scalia came up with a tasteless analogy to illustrate the issue. “[S]uppose all the States had laws against flagpole sitting at one time, you know, there was a time when it was a popular thing and probably annoyed a lot of communities, and then almost all of them repealed those laws,” Scalia asked the attorney fighting the Texas law. “Does that make flagpole sitting a fundamental right?”
Vile little prick. Another…
During oral arguments in Lawrence, the attorney challenging the Texas law argued that it was “fundamentally illogical” for straight people to be able to have non-procreative sex without being harassed by the state while same-sex couples did not have the right to be “free from a law that says you can’t have any sexual intimacy at all.” But Scalia pointed out that gays and lesbians could just have sex with people of the opposite sex instead. “It doesn’t say you can’t have—you can’t have any sexual intimacy. It says you cannot have sexual intimacy with a person of the same sex.” Later on in his dissent, Scalia argued that Americans’ constitutional right to equal protection under the law wasn’t violated by the Texas law for that reason. “Men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, are all subject to [Texas’] prohibition of deviate sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex.”
As the MJ piece points out, this was the exact same argument made by racists who defended bans on interracial marriages. The ban, the haters would say, was equally restrictive to both whites and blacks and, therefore, constitutional.
Whatever great legal mind Antonin Scalia once possessed, it is no longer the case. He is now a mean-spirited 77-year-old bigot who derives great pleasure in making outlandish statements and then sitting back and reveling in the reaction.
Scalia is, in the words of an observer, Rush with a robe.