Eric Berndt, the NYU student who boldly stood up at NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall the other night to ask Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia some probing questions about sodomy, specifically “Do you sodomize your wife?” has responded to criticism of his actions in an email published in full over at Wonkette.
Some excerpts from his quite brilliant missive:
“Debate is useless when one participant denies the full dignity of the other. How am I to docilely engage a man who sarcastically rants about the ‘beauty of homosexual relationships’ (at the Q&A) and believes that gay school teachers will try to convert children to a homosexual lifestyle (at oral argument for Lawrence)?”
“Justice Scalia has no pity for the millions of gay Americans on whom sodomy laws and official homophobia have such an effect, so it is difficult to sympathize with his brief moment of ‘humiliation,’ as some have called it.”
“Beyond exerting official power against homosexuals, Scalia is an outspoken and high-profile homophobe. After the aforementioned sarcastic remarks about gay people’s relationships, can anyone doubt how little respect he has for LGBT Americans? Even if no case touching gay rights ever came before him, his comments from the bench (that employment non-discrimination is some kind of “homosexual agenda,” etc.) and within our very walls are unacceptable to any self-respecting gay person or principled opponent of discrimination. The idea that I should have treated a man with such repugnant views with deference because he is a high government official evinces either a dangerously un-American acceptance of authority or insensitivity to the gay community’s grievances.”
“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.”