Q SyndicateϪJul 3, 2013
Justice Antonin Scalia's sclerotic dissent in United States v. Windsor is less about finding strict constitutional arguments in favor of Prop 8 and DOMA than bitching about the damn kids today:
"In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change, it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race."Enemies of the human race, no less! In his prior arguments that it is gays and lesbians who justly deserve odium humani generis, Justice Scalia has proven no stranger to wild overstatement. In Romer v. Evans (1996), Scalia dissented from the majority opinion affirming a Colorado law forbidding localities from discriminating against LGBT citizens. Scalia could see no difference between homosexuality and homicide:
" 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. Surely that is the only sort of 'animus' at issue here: moral disapproval of homosexual conduct[.]"As Adam Serwer observed in Mother Jones, "It's true that people generally disapprove of murder, but there's more going on in laws banning murder than mere disfavor—the rights of the person being murdered, for example."
Scalia probably doesn't read Mother Jones, but he at least restrained himself from of likening gays and lesbians to Charles Manson in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas (2003):
"The Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are 'immoral and unacceptable,' Bowers, supra, at 196–the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity. ... State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision.”The Republic may survive the nullification of state laws against masturbation, but Scalia had surely hoped that his parade of horribles would bring a Christian nation to its senses. For a time, as Republicans raced a series of antigay constitutional amendments through the the states, he probably did feel vindicated.
But as young people continue to come of age in a world where gays and lesbians are openly joining into committed relationships and raising families of their own without any demonstrable deterioration of heterosexual marriage, Scalia is left to fume:
Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids today?