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Antonin Scalia

By | 2009-04-02T09:00:00-04:00 April 2nd, 2009|Opinions|

What’s wrong with this country when Barney Frank can’t call Antonin Scalia a homophobe without folks getting bent out of shape?
In an interview with, Frank, the openly gay congressman from Massachusetts, was discussing the Defense of Marriage Act.
“I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court,” Frank said.
True. But for whatever reason, Frank spent the next few days “clarifying” his comment as if he’d said something wrong.
“What a ‘homophobe’ means is someone who has prejudice about gay people” and that Scalia “makes it very clear that he’s angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people,” Frank said according to
Frank even released a statement about it:
“The point is that Justice Scalia goes far beyond simply denying that there is a constitutional right here and makes clear his support for the discriminatory policies based on his condemnation of homosexuality.”
Indeed he does. And the proof is in the opinions. Frank points to two in particular to justify his outrageous “homophobe” claim. The first case was Lawrence vs. Texas, the Supreme Court case that struck down the gays-only Texas sodomy law.
Scalia’s dissent was scathing. “It is clear from this that the Court has taken sides in the culture war,” he wrote. “Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.”
He also blasted the court for being “imbued…with the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture.”
The second case was Romer v. Evans, where the Court smacked down an amendment to the Colorado state constitution that basically outlawed any kind of protection from discrimination for LGBT people. The fight over this issue was ugly and full of hate. The amendment itself is a shining example of homophobia.
“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 un-American,” Scalia wrote in his dissent. “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.”
So according to Scalia, murder and homosexuality go hand in hand and homophobia is totally American, God bless it.
He went on to write, “But though Coloradans are, as I say, entitled to be hostile toward homosexual conduct, the fact is that the degree of hostility reflected by Amendment 2 is the smallest conceivable.”
In other words, Scalia believes that amending a state constitution to essentially kick LGBT people out of the purview of the law is totally OK. Besides, considering how horrible homosexuality is, the people of Colorado were being totally restrained! It’s not like they were stringing gays up by their nuts. Yet.
Keep in mind that Frank isn’t apologizing for calling Scalia a homophobe. But the fact that he has to explain why he did when Scalia’s record speaks for itself means that people aren’t paying enough attention. It also means that “homophobe” is becoming a terrible thing to be called rather than a terrible thing to be. And that’s just how the anti-gay folks want it.

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