Scalia Spars With Student on Gay Rights

Duncan Hosie asks justice how he can equate sodomy and murder

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 11, 2012 10:03 AM CST

(Newser) – A Princeton freshman took Antonin Scalia to task yesterday, asking the Supreme Court justice how he can compare sodomy to bestiality and murder in his writings. "I don't think it's necessary, but I think it's effective," Scalia told the student during a question and answer session at the university. "It's a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd,'" Scalia said, noting that legislators can ban what they see as immoral.

"If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?" The justice said he wasn't equating the two acts, just comparing bans on them. "I'm surprised you aren't persuaded," he joked. The student, Duncan Hosie, said afterward that indeed he wasn't, and that Scalia's work can "dehumanize" gay people, the AP reports. Scalia also discussed notions of the Constitution as a "living document." "It's dead, dead, dead, dead," he said. Still, it's very flexible: "There's nothing in there about abortion. It's up to the citizens ... The same with the death penalty."

In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.
In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.   (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
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