Antonin Scalia | News | Supreme Court

Confronted by Gay Student at Princeton, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Defends Anti-Gay Writings

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia appeared at Princetown University on Monday and was asked by a gay student, Duncan Hosie ’16, why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring man-on-animal sex and murder.

A_scaliaPolitico reports:

Some in the audience who had come to hear Scalia speak about his book applauded but more of those who attended the lecture clapped at Hosie’s question.

“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the `reduction to the absurd,’” Scalia told freshman Duncan Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “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. Then he deadpanned: “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”

MSN reports: "Hosie said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia's answer. He said he believes Scalia's writings tend to 'dehumanize' gays."

The AP adds:

As Scalia often does in public speaking, he cracked wise, taking aim mostly at those who view the Constitution as a ‘‘living document’’ that changes with the times.

‘‘It isn’t a living document,’’ Scalia said. ‘‘It’s dead, dead, dead, dead.’’

He said that people who see the Constitution as changing often argue they are taking the more flexible approach. But their true goal is to set policy permanently, he said. ‘‘My Constitution is a very flexible one,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s nothing in there about abortion. It’s up to the citizens. ... The same with the death penalty.’’

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  1. Scalia is simply crazy. You know he must have been beaten with a rosary growing up. He would be a great target for a sane-sex entrapment except that he's so scared he probably couldn't respond.

    Posted by: Markt | Dec 11, 2012 8:05:42 AM

  2. It's pretty clear this man is clearly biased, and the other justices need to force him to recuse himself from all cases regarded gay issues - and all civil rights issues.

    I would also support impeaching him.

    Posted by: Talisman | Dec 11, 2012 8:06:34 AM

  3. Scalia needs to DROP dead

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Dec 11, 2012 8:06:36 AM

  4. This man is a dinosaur, just too bade he is not extinct yet. I understand he is a smoker...hope he keeps with it. The greatest revenge would be Obama getting to name his successor. History will remember his bigotry and cruelty to the LGBT community. That will be his pitiful legacy.

    Posted by: kjpnyc | Dec 11, 2012 8:08:29 AM

  5. This ratbastard needs to be called out on his BS at every opportunity. His viewpoint on the Constitution, as a Supreme Court Justice, is disgraceful.

    Posted by: Jack M | Dec 11, 2012 8:09:18 AM

  6. Was Scalia high at this event? So the Constitution is dead, but it's flexible, but abortion rights are up to voters despite Roe v. Wade being decided by the court where he works.

    Well that all makes perfect sense. So smug. I wish the Supreme Court would rule that their lifetime appointments are stupid.

    Posted by: Erik | Dec 11, 2012 8:11:17 AM

  7. First he tells him why he doesn't deserve equal rights, then he patronizes him for having failed to grasp that he didn't in the first place.

    Sheesh, what an a-h.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Dec 11, 2012 8:19:59 AM

  8. Scalia shows how incompetent he is with his snarky comment to the questioner: "I don't have to explain to you in a rational way, I'm a Supreme Court Justice and I'm better than you". No, you're just lucky Reagan had dementia and put you there.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Dec 11, 2012 8:20:28 AM

  9. Of course, it is Scalia's view of the world and of law that is dead, dead, dead. Or at least, as George Will has pointed out, dying, dying, dying.

    Posted by: Damien | Dec 11, 2012 8:20:56 AM

  10. It is a sad commentary that this smug little man who apparently doesn't even uderstand reductio ad absurdum won't be corrected because he is a Supreme Court Justice. There is no correlation between homosexuality and murder that would justify his comparison; and, even IF there were that would be a comparative analysis not reductio ad absurdum. I'm not surprised, though, that he attempted to browbeat and demean a college freshman (an adolescent) - that's what insecure bullies do.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 11, 2012 8:32:29 AM

  11. Here is an obvious moral distinction that separates homosexual acts from murder and beastiality: informed consent.

    Posted by: clayton | Dec 11, 2012 8:53:57 AM

  12. Pretty obvious how he's going to rule, he's a conservative elitist who's a dyed-in-the-wool catholic. No surprises here.


    Posted by: johnny | Dec 11, 2012 8:57:51 AM

  13. It's a disgrace and dishonors the Court to have such a man with such shameful opinions. But he's catholic and is merely representing his church's long held dicta. The historical precedent begins with John Chrysostom, an early canonized church leader (4th Century), who opined and ruled that sodomy was worse than murder, "The murderer dissevers the soul from the body, but (the sodomite) ruins the soul with the body...For I should not only say thou has become a woman, but that thou hast lost thy manhood."

    Chrysostom also railed against the Jews of his day because their festivals attracted early Christians. He coined the term “Christ-killers” and made it stick. Nazis during World War II used Chrysostom's writings to try to convince Christians in Germany and Austria that the Jews deserved to be exterminated.

    Fat and squat, Scalia's legacy on this topic will forever hold him in disgrace.

    Posted by: Jerry | Dec 11, 2012 8:58:47 AM

  14. When your standard of morality is, "the bible says it, I believe it, that settles it..." then your morality is based on myths that have everything to do with bigotry and nothing to do with the promotion of human well-being. That is when ridiculous comparisons begin to make sense.

    Posted by: belo | Dec 11, 2012 8:58:50 AM

  15. Scalia is just whistling past the graveyard. He doesn't have the votes on the Supreme Court for upholding Prop 8. Either the Court will strike down Prop 8 on a technicality, like standing, or craft a very narrow ruling striking down Prop 8 only as it pertains to the unique circumstances in California. Scalia d-o-e-s-n't___h-a-v-e___t-h-e___v-o-t-e-s. It's sad and pathetic to see him grasping at straws. What a fundamentalist Christian loser.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | Dec 11, 2012 9:00:30 AM

  16. I find the fact that he has procreated nine times to be immoral, but there are no laws against that.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Dec 11, 2012 9:01:43 AM

  17. I doubt any of his colleagues respect his absurd opinions, I mean who can take him seriously after making statements like those? It is sad really that he sits in the highest court of the land, he certainly doesn't deserve to be there.

    Posted by: @ | Dec 11, 2012 9:05:15 AM

  18. His jurisprudence is nothing if not self-serving. Check out FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco, in which he signed onto a majority opinion by O'Connor that was RIFE with appeals to 'subsequent legislative history.' And this great originalist didn't say a peep. Breyer's dissent totally called him out.

    And yet he is so smugly disingenuous, as he continues peddling this fiction that he is somehow faithful to a pure theory of interpretation. Liar.

    Posted by: Lars | Dec 11, 2012 9:25:25 AM

  19. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?” He has a point here -- he is not equating gays with murderers.

    However, is it our "moral" opposition to murder the thing that makes it illegal? Murder is illegal not on moral grounds, but on legal grounds -- each person has equal right to not have his life taken away.

    Posted by: TC | Dec 11, 2012 9:35:22 AM

  20. TC - I like your point that our morality is primarily based on notions of equality. Ergo if Scalia was seeking to be moral he would try and give the benefits of equality wherever possible. - So I don't know how you get to the point of giving any kind of a pass to excuse Scalia's writing. He is deliberately equating homosexuality with the worst possible actions to make it seem as horrible as possible. There's no equality in that.

    Posted by: Markt | Dec 11, 2012 9:46:31 AM

  21. He needs to be impeached and imprisoned for treason

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 11, 2012 10:21:35 AM

  22. The problem is, obviously, that Scalia is completely biased, and that there is no viable comparison in terms of levels of offense, of homosexuality and murder. There is no viable way to compare the two things unless you're just a horrendous person/idiot.

    Big respect goes to Duncan for putting Scalia on the spot and making him answer to his bigotry. Scalia should be forced into recusal regarding all gay rights cases but he won't be. And it's statements like this that only help our case in the end.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 11, 2012 10:23:04 AM

  23. Btw, murder isn't illegal so much because it's immoral, but because it violates the rights of the person being murdered. People can have whatever moral feelings they want. But whether the law gives those feelings force is another thing entirely. There need to be additional reasons to outlaw something. It's beyond disturbing when a Supreme Court judge doesn't realize that.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 11, 2012 10:23:18 AM

  24. Scalia is just a Catholic bishop who missed his true calling in life. He should be at the Curia, covering up child-sex abuse.

    Posted by: Charles | Dec 11, 2012 10:25:49 AM

  25. I don't understand why he isn't forced to recuse himself from all cases involving gay rights. Does anyone think that he is impartial on this topic? He has repeatedly made his views known publicly.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Dec 11, 2012 10:27:36 AM

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