While speaking at Princeton University, the judge was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder. According to the Associated Press:
“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.
Some in the audience who had come to hear Scalia speak about his book applauded but more of those who attended the lecture clapped at freshman Duncan Hosie’s question.
“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,’” Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.
Then he deadpanned: “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”
Scalia’s argument is absurd. It is the equivalent of him saying: “The government has the right to ban food it doesn’t care for. So, it can prohibit oatmeal, just as it can prohibit restaurants from serving rat poison. They are both ingested, so they can both be considered food.”
Of course, one is harmful (rat poison) and one is harmless (oatmeal), just as murder is harmful and homosexuality is benign. Furthermore, imprisoning innocent gay people for being who they are is cruel, while keeping murderers off of the street serves a legitimate public function. That Scalia can’t differentiate between evil acts and benign ones proves that he is an ideologue with ossified ideas.
The article goes onto state:
Hosie said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia’s answer. He said he believes Scalia’s writings tend to “dehumanize” gays.
As Scalia often does in public speaking, he cracked wise, taking aim mostly at those who view the Constitution as a “living document” that changes with the times.
“It isn’t a living document,” Scalia said. “It’s dead, dead, dead, dead.”
On so many levels Scalia is an atrocious judge who is an embarrassment to the bench. History will judge the judge quite harshly.