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13 Offensive Things Justice Scalia’s Compared To Homosexuality

13 Offensive Things Justice Scalia’s Compared To Homosexuality

Written by Ian Millhiser

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear the first of two cases which could end discrimination against same-sex couples and ensure that all Americans can marry the person they love. Whatever happens in those two cases, one thing is all but certain: Justice Antonin Scalia will vote to maintain marriage discrimination, and he will spend much of this week’s oral arguments making insulting comments about LGBT Americans. Here are some of the most offensive things Scalia compared to homosexuality in his past opinions:

  • Murder, Polygamy and Cruelty to Animals: In Romer v. Evans, the Court held that Colorado could not enact a state constitutional amendment motivated solely by animus towards gay people. Scalia saw no problem with laws enacted with such a motivation — “The Court’s opinion contains grim, disapproving hints that Coloradans have been guilty of ‘animus’ or ‘animosity’ toward homosexuality, as though that has been established as Unamerican. . . . I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible–murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals–and could exhibit even ‘animus’ toward such conduct.”
  • Drug Addicts and Smokers: In the same opinion, Scalia suggested that a law which relegates LGBT people to second-class status is no different than any other law “disfavoring certain conduct.” Anti-gay laws, in Scalia’s view, are no different than laws disfavoring “drug addicts, or smokers, or gun owners, or motorcyclists.” His decision to include “gun owners” on this list is somewhat ironic, considering that he would later write the Supreme Court’s opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller which held for the first time that there is an individual right to own a firearm.
  • Prostitution and Heroin Use: Dissenting in Lawrence v. Texas, Scalia rejected the idea that an outright ban on “sodomy” violates the liberties protected by the Constitution. Such a ban, “undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty,” Scalia wrote, but “so do laws prohibiting prostitution” or “recreational use of heroin.”
  • Incest, Adultery, Obscenity and Child Pornography: Rejecting the Lawrence majority’s conclusion that private sexuality between consenting adults receives “substantial protection” under the Constitution, Scalia responded “[s]tates continue to prosecute all sorts of crimes by adults ‘in matters pertaining to sex’: prostitution, adult incest, adultery, obscenity, and child pornography.”
  • Bestiality: Later in the same opinion, Scalia argues that gay sex can be criminalized because some people find it immoral — “The Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are ‘immoral and unacceptable,’ the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity.”
  • Having a Roommate: For all his over the top rhetoric, Scalia’s cruelest dig on same-sex couples may be his most subtle. In a discussion about what the anti-gay Colorado amendment in Romer does and does not prohibit, Scalia suggests that the bond between two men or two women in a committed relationship is no greater than the bond between two “roommates”: “The amendment prohibits special treatment of homosexuals, and nothing more. It would not affect, for example, a requirement of state law that pensions be paid to all retiring state employees with a certain length of service; homosexual employees, as well as others, would be entitled to that benefit. But it would prevent the State or any municipality from making death benefit payments to the ‘life partner’ of a homosexual when it does not make such payments to the long time roommate of a nonhomosexual employee.”

After writing all of these lines, Scalia concludes his Lawrence dissent with a plea that he is not in the least bit anti-gay. “Let me be clear,” Scalia writes, “that I have nothing against homosexuals.”

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Photo: US Mission Geneva/flickr

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9:35AM PDT on Aug 27, 2013

Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts have been rated 4 of the 5 worst justuces in history. Not actually a big revelation.

12:32PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

"Ignorance is society's violent element."

-Emma Goldman

12:30PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

“El elemento más violento en la sociedad es la ignorancia.”
-Emma Goldman

8:43PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

I can't wait to see the hearing transcriptions of this case!!

8:41PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

C'mon, Ernesto!!

8:48AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

One hopes an opinionated Justice has the capacity to change and evolve himself...

7:17AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Sorry, should be "hypocrite".

7:17AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

What a perfect, effing hypicrite he is! And, weren't he an supreme court justice, his opinions would be considered slander and he would be prosecuted. Can't wait to see the day he's forced to resign in disgrace!

6:15AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013


In order for it to be a choice, you would have to be able to pin-point the exact time when YOU chose not to be attracted to the same sex in favor of being attracted to the opposite sex...

Do you recall this moment in time???

Why and how did you get your body to cooperate with your choice???

You see... personally... I cannot... So, I must conclude that the reason I am attracted to women is because that is how I was created...

6:15AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013


I am the grandson of a Minister and have my own beliefs. BUT, they are just that "my own beliefs">>>

I don't expect anyone (but myself) to be morally swayed, politcally motivated, or emothionally strained by any of MY beliefs...

If someone inquires about them or the reasoning behind them, then I will answer.

ALL people proclaiming to be "Christians" are not. That is not negotiable (you must believe what Jesus Christ himself believed in order to call yourself a Christian)!!! Some people do not understand that you do not get to support some of what Jesus was about and not the rest... AND still call yourself a Christian...

Many people are very turned-off by what the "so-called-christians" proclaim, because it is very transparently ANTI-CHRISTIAN (thus inspired by SATAN... Yes, I said it)!

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