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Scalia's 1800s ideas

Published April 4, 2013 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In his dissent opposing the Supreme Court's 2003 landmark ruling that struck down state anti-sodomy laws, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, among other offensive things:

"Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children's schools, or as boarders in their home. ... They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive."

It is fascinating how people cannot apply their own history to other groups. Scalia is boastfully Catholic, and if you take his above statement and replace homosexual with Catholic you'd have a pretty good statement of the view of "many Americans" in the 1800s. People really didn't want Catholics teaching school or living near them, and they saw their bigoted view as simply being protective.

That kind of discrimination is, thankfully, now illegal and repugnant to most Americans.

As a gay man who sees himself as moral, when I recently read Scalia's statement I think I felt a little how his persecuted American Catholic ancestors felt.

Come on, America, can't we all just get along?

David Michaels

Salt Lake City




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