After sparking controversy by calling U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a ‘homophobe,’ this morning Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank stood by his comment, saying that Scalia has repeatedly condemned homosexual conduct in his written opinions.
In an interview on CNN, Frank pointed to “opinions written by Justice Scalia in which he makes it very clear that he thinks it’s a terrible idea for people who are gay or lesbian to have equal rights.”
In a dissent in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, in which the Court struck down an anti-sodomy law as unconstitutional, Scalia said the Court’s majority “signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”
Frank said that unlike Justice Clarence Thomas, who also dissented on the constitutional question, but called the law “silly” and said he’d vote to repeal it if he were a state lawmaker, Scalia attacked the issue on a moral ground.
“He is so angry about those of us who may be gay or lesbian, that he thinks it’s taking sides in a culture war to say that people shouldn’t be sent to prison for private consensual acts,” Frank said.
CNN said it reached out to the Supreme Court for comment from Scalia, and the justice declined.
See Frank’s original comment here: