Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia doesn’t even need to read the briefs for the same-sex marriage cases coming before the court. He’s not going to vote for it, and no one is expecting him too.
Scalia took some questions from students at Princeton University. One question in particular framed the way Scalia’s mind works on gay rights. Asked why he compares homosexuality with bestiality and murder, here was Scalia’s response from ABC News:
“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd.’ If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
Why do we even need to have moral feelings about homosexuality? Why does society need to judge what any consenting adults do in their own privacy?
The problem with Scalia and others who share his views is that their moral code is broad and as expansive as their personal distastes. A homosexual relationship is a mutual relationship. That doesn’t apply to bestiality because the animal has no way to express consent or otherwise. Likewise, a murder victim doesn’t consent to the ending of his or her’s life.
If moral feelings can be enshrined as law against homosexuality, then why not against football or atheism? Some people have strong feelings against those. That’s the problem. Morality becomes just a tool of the majority to suppress a minority. That doesn’t sound moral. That sounds like oppression.
When a Supreme Court justice believes that the arguments against homosexuality and murder cross similar paths, that’s a disturbing thought for someone who is supposed to be able to master the details of arguments.
One of the purposes of the Constitution is to protect the rights of minorities. When minorities are no threat to others, that protection should be absolute.
Scalia’s argument can be turned on its head. If a consenting, nonviolent act like homosexuality is immoral like murder, then why can’t a violent, non-consenting act like slavery be moral? As we know, that was once the argument. Africans were viewed as uncivilized and childlike. They needed protectors so they had those benevolently minded masters adept at the whip to keep an eye on them. That’s the problem when morality becomes a whim of the majority — minorities suffer.
Scalia doesn’t get that.