Politics

12.10.12

Scalia Is Just a Bigot

TPM's Sahil Kapur recalls the great man's reaction to the Lawrence v. Texas, ruling, as we reflect on the recent news that the Court will hear two gay-marriage cases:

In a landmark 2003 decision, the Court ruled that states may not outlaw sodomy among consenting adults of the same sex. The minority dissent in the 6-3 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas was authored by Justice Scalia, who argued that the Court’s reasoning effectively, if not explicitly, knocked down the legal basis for outlawing gay marriage.

“Today’s opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned,” Scalia wrote.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion said the Court’s ruling against anti-sodomy laws “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”

Scalia’s retort: “Do not believe it.”

“This case ‘does not involve’ the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court,” he wrote.

The Reagan-appointed justice accused the majority on the Court of having “taken sides in the culture war” and having signed on to the “homosexual agenda.”

What blithering nonsense. For a long time, I've written sentences that, while supporting gay marriage, take care to mention that I can understand if a person's religious convictions prevent them from agreeing with me. I used to think that. Then I thought a couple of weeks ago, well, that's pretty chicken shit, Mikey. I sound just like a person from a hundred years ago who understood if others' religioius convictions led them to support miscegination laws. So I'm done with that.

Wrapping opposition to same-sex marriage today or interracial marriage then in a religious blanket--or, in this case, a fancy jurisprudential one--is not okay. It was bigotry then, and it's bigtory now, pure and simple. And Scalia is a bigot, or at least those views expressed above are bigoted views. A hundred years from now, or even less, this will be clear as a bell, and people like Scalia will sound just as ignorant as the old racists do today.