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Justice Scalia says that bans on murder and sodomy legally similar....

Antonin Scalia Defends Legal Writings Some View As Offensive, Anti-Gay

PRINCETON, N.J. -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday found himself defending his legal writings that some find offensive and anti-gay.

Speaking at Princeton University, 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.

Scalia has been giving speeches around the country to promote his new book, "Reading Law," and his lecture at Princeton comes just days after the court agreed to take on two cases that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

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 freshman Duncan 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 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."

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

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."

Scalia said that interpreting laws requires adherence to the words used and to their meanings at the time they were written.
So let me get this straight, sodomy (consensual) is the same as murder (non-consenual) because of "morality"?


TRIBE Member
That's nuts. I guess the question not answered is whether his definition of sodomy is that of a consensual act or not.


TRIBE Member
it would be closer for him to say that euthanasia is similar to sodomy. Both are consensual acts, but both are illegal in many states due to "morality".


TRIBE Member
Remember when conservatives said that a homosexual judge should recuse himself from judgment on a gay marriage case cause he is "biased"?

Why isn't this the other side of that coin?


TRIBE Member
ya this morality shit lurks in the background of a lot of things... War on Drugs included...

There's this feeling I think - especially amongst religious and older demographics - that the law as it is has the character of morality imbued in each thing proscribed by it. So to the extent that something is immoral, our law is designed to punish for that. It's a very Christianist/paternalistic and sometimes even utopian view (that society can be moulded in to a more perfect moral standing). But at the core it's very simple: this set of rules here makes sense for me and my friends to live by, so they should fit for everyone else!

People who love others of the same sex, people who smoke pot - people who deviate from their deluded view of themselves and society - these people are marginalised in the law because these deviations are alleged to be moral, when really morality has nothing to do with it: the other is what it's all about!
I think what bugs me extra about Scalia is the condescending tone he uses to illustrate his "points" or his views. His interview on 60 Minutes about his ruling on the Gore vs. Bush decision was shocking in how he simply stated "get over it" instead of actually explaining his decision.