OPINION: For Scalia, no gay people, just gay sex?

The Los Angeles Times
|
December 14, 2012
Issues: 

Is there anything more to be said about Justice Antonin Scalia’s sulphurous comments about homosexuality, which prompted a gutsy student at Princeton University to confront the voluble jurist this week about his rhetoric? One thing at least: Scalia’s discomfort with the idea that there is such a thing as a gay or lesbian person. The quotations from Scalia opinions that so dismayed  Princeton freshman Duncan Hosie all referred to homosexual conduct. For example, in a 1996 case the majority of the court held that voters in Colorado had exhibited “animus” toward gays by making it impossible for the state or municipalities to pass laws protecting them from discrimination. Scalia responded: “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." In his dissent Scalia did refer to “homosexuals” (he assiduously avoided the word “gay” except in quoted material), but he used that term interchangeably with “those who engage in homosexual conduct.” And what of the notion of "sexual orientation"? Scalia did acknowledge in his Colorado opinion that such a thing might exist.