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04/19/2007


Scalia's Son Paul Thinks Homosexuals Are Just Straight People With 'Same-Sex Attraction'

You may recall that Reverend Paul Scalia, the son of homophobic Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is a Catholic priest who served as Chaplain for Courage - a Catholic ex-gay group that encourages gays to practice lifelong celibacy and attend their "play the gay away" athletic camps.

Paul Scalia currently serves as Courage's Chairman of the Board of Directors and will speak this month at the organization's annual summit. The website touting the summit also links to a 2012 article written by Scalia in which he praises the writings of Courage founder Father John Harvey. 

Paul_scaliaScalia praises Harvey for no longer using the terms "homosexual" and "sexual orientation" because Scalia thinks that gay people are only straight people experiencing "same sex-attraction." For him, there is only one true sexual orientation — the one that leads to heterosexual marriage, and his article (excerpted below) reveals the intellectual rationalizations that allow ex-gay therapies to thrive in the secular world while remaining firmly rooted in fundamentalist homophobia:

In this regard we must note the unfortunate title The Homosexual Person (and therefore also the unfortunate title of the CDF document). In short, we should not predicate “homosexual” of any person. That does a disservice to the dignity of the human person by collapsing personhood into sexual inclinations. The chronology of the books helps us to see the development in this area of language. Indeed, the Church is still trying to find the right vocabulary to speak about this modern phenomenon. Thus in his last book, Father Harvey ceased using the term “homosexual” or “homosexual person.” His thought and ministry brought him to realize that it is better to speak of someone with “same-sex attractions.” Although lacking brevity and ease of speech, this phrase has the virtue of precision. It acknowledges both the person/attraction distinction and the complexity of the condition – not fairly summarized as an “orientation.” Which brings us to another matter of vocabulary.…

Father Harvey’s use of the term “orientation” also underwent a deserved change. In his first two books we find the use of this word to describe homosexual inclinations or attractions. In the last book, however, he deliberately avoids it. This reflects the increased appreciation for the fact that homosexual tendencies (to use a term from magisterial documents), do not constitute a fixed, unchangeable aspect of the person and therefore should not be considered an “orientation.” Further, the term does violence to a proper understanding of human sexuality. Either our sexuality is oriented in a certain direction (i.e. toward the one-flesh union of marriage), or it is not. We cannot speak of more than one sexual “orientation” any more than we can think of the sun rising in more than one place (i.e. the orient).

Indeed, one of Father Harvey’s contributions is his discussion of the possibility for healing of homosexual attractions. He deftly navigates the extremes (on one hand, that change is impossible… on the other hand, that it is morally obligatory) to present the simple truth that many have found freedom, to varying degrees, from homosexual attractions. Thus we cannot speak of it as a fixed, unchangeable, unchanging “orientation.”

Scalia has used such sophistry before to justify parental disapproval of gay kids and opposition to gay-straight alliances in public schools. For him, homosexuality is nothing more than an attraction, one that should be changed or suppressed for a lifetime to attain moral communion with a "love the sinner, hate the sin" kind of God.


Rush Limbaugh: Gay Marriage Supporters 'Don't Give A Damn About Rule Of Law Or Decency': AUDIO

RushRush Limbaugh took time out of his radio program yesterday to tear into supporters of same-sex marriage and praise the dissenting arguments presented by Justice Scalia in the DOMA case. Mediaite reports:

Limbaugh read Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent in the case against the Defense of Marriage Act and praised him for identifying insults in the majority opinion directed at DOMA supporters. "It proves that we are up against people who don't give a damn about the rule of law, or about decency, or about decorum," he said.

"The Supreme Court has now demonized supporters of traditional marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years. The Supreme Court majority in its ruling actually uses language that insults and demonizes the people who support marriage as it has been since the beginning of time," he said.

He goes on to complain about how the "left is intolerant and fully invested in the low art of personal destruction through smear tactics," which is ironic considering Limbaugh's body of work.  

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Justice Antonin Scalia Says Judges Shouldn't Decide if Being Gay is Morally Acceptable

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told the North Carolina Bar Association in a speech on Friday that constitutional law is increasingly threatened by a belief in the "judge moralist" and that it is society's, and not the court's job to decide what is morally acceptable, the Charlotte Observer reports:

Scalia

Scalia said that approach presents two problems: Judges are not moral experts, and many of the moral issues now coming before the courts have no “scientifically demonstrable right answer.”
...

Scalia, known for his provocative comments and writings since being appointed in 1986, is barred from publicly discussing pending cases. But during his half-hour speech at the Grove Park Inn on Friday, the 77-year-old frequently listed homosexuality among the issues that should be decided by the public and not unelected judges.

His comments during the March oral arguments for the same-sex marriage cases followed a similar bent. “When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage?” he asked.
...

Raleigh attorney John Sarratt said he expects the thoughts Scalia expressed Friday to be reflected in the judge’s upcoming opinion on gay marriage – that the courts should leave the existing laws alone.

Scalia was asked if he would have adopted the same approach to Brown v. Board of Education:

Scalia said he would have voted with the majority on the case to create more educational opportunities for blacks. He added, however, that “a good result” doesn’t make for good law. Had the courts not interceded, he said, state leaders would have eventually removed the racial barriers.

N.C. lawyers listen as Justice Scalia bemoans ‘moral arbiter’ on eve of gay marriage ruling [charlotte observer]


Supreme Court Strikes Down Restrictive Arizona Voting Law: VIDEO

SupremesIn a surprise move, the Supreme Court today ruled 7-2 that Arizona cannot require voters to prove their citizenship when submitting voter registration forms.  The New York Times reports on the ruling, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia (yes--you read that right):

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, No. 12-71, said a federal law requiring states to “accept and use” a federal form displaced an Arizona law requiring various kinds of proof of citizenship.

The federal law, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, allows voters to register using a federal form that asks, “Are you a citizen of the United States?” Prospective voters must check a box for yes or no, and they must sign the form, swearing under the penalty of perjury that they are citizens.

The state law, by contrast, required prospective voters to prove that they were citizens by providing copies of or information concerning various documents, including birth certificates, passports, naturalization papers or driver’s licenses, that are available only to people who are in the state lawfully.

Today's ruling was centered around the concept of 'preemption,' under which the federal laws are generally seen to trump state laws.  Think Progress has more on the preemption issue, which Scalia ruled is especially pertinent in laws affecting federal elections:

As the Court points out, this broad view of the federal role in governing elections is consistent with the Constitution’s text, which provides that “[t]he times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.”

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of a major component of the Voting Rights Act by the end of next week.

Watch an MSNBC analysis of today's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Supreme Court Shuffle: Did Conservatives Grant the Prop 8 Case?

Adam Liptak at the NYT finds the "aha moment" in the Supreme Court's Prop. 8 transcript signaling who likely voted to take up the case, and proposes a theory about why it was taken and the exit points that may shuffle it back to California where the ruling striking it down would stand.

A_scaliaWrites Liptak:

After Justice Anthony M. Kennedy suggested that the court should dismiss the case, Justice Antonin Scalia tipped his hand.

“It’s too late for that now, isn’t it?” he said, a note of glee in his voice.

“We have crossed that river,” he said.

That was a signal that it was a conservative grant.

And how did that happen?

Justice Scalia, almost certainly joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., apparently made a twofold calculation: that their odds of winning would not improve as same-sex marriage grows more popular and more commonplace, and that Justice Kennedy, who is likely to write the decision in the case concerning the 1996 law, would lock himself into rhetoric and logic that would compel him to vote for a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in a later case.

It is not that the conservatives felt certain they would win. It is that their chances would not improve in the years ahead.

That leaves the question of the fourth vote. The most likely answer is that it was that of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., though he did not sound at all pleased on Tuesday to have the case before him.

There is also a chance that the fourth vote came from Justice Kennedy himself, and his very questioning provides support for that theory.

“I just wonder,” he said, sounding a little plaintive and a little angry, “if the case was properly granted.”

Who Wanted to Take the Case on Gay Marriage? Ask Scalia [nyt]

If you missed Ari Ezra Waldman's Prop 8 analysis from earlier in the week you can find it HERE (Part 1) and HERE (Part 2).


Rachel Maddow Tells Jon Stewart About Her Visit to the Supreme Court, Calls Justice Scalia a 'Troll': VIDEO

Maddow

Rachel Maddow visited the Supreme Court yesterday as the Court was considering the Voting Rights Act, and had lots to say about it.

"I don't have a number line that is long enough, that goes high enough to understand how on the same day we are unveiling the statue of Rosa Parks at the US Capitol and one block away we are considering getting rid of the pillar of American civil rights law, and that happens at the same time in the same place and nobody's head explodes."

"It's weird to see Antonin Scalia in person. It's weird...You can see, actually, he's a troll. He's like the guy on your blog comment thread who's saying the N word."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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