Scalia defends opposition to gay rights in response to question at Princeton – The Daily Princetonian

 

On the heels of the announcement that the Supreme Court will hear two cases regarding gay marriage, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia defended some of his more controversial decisions concerning gay rights in a lecture Monday afternoon.

Scalia came to campus to discuss his recent book and share his thoughts on interpreting the Constitution. Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the current Court, has been described as the intellectual anchor of the Court’s conservative wing.

When questioned by Duncan Hosie ’16, who identified as gay, on his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas — which struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law — Scalia stood behind his decision. Hosie questioned Scalia’s comparison between having a moral objection to sodomy and having a moral objection toward things like bestiality or murder. Scalia defended his comparison as a form of argument.

“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against these other things?” Scalia asked, explaining his dissent. “It’s a reduction to the absurd … I don’t think it’s necessary but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding dryly, “I’m surprised you weren’t persuaded.”

Born in nearby Trenton, N.J., Scalia applied, but was not accepted, to Princeton. He instead attended Georgetown where he graduated summa cum laude as valedictorian in 1957. He later graduated from Harvard Law School.

Scalia was notably plain-spoken during both the lecture and the Q-and-A.

“For those of you who have been to some of our previous lectures, you’ll notice it was a little different this time,” said politics professor Robert George, the campus conservative leader who introduced Scalia and offered closing remarks.

Scalia declined to discuss issues related to active cases or potential future cases during the Q-and-A, instead directing the conversation back to the general arguments he made during the lecture.

During his lecture, he defended his view that focusing on the text and the original meaning of the Constitution are the best interpretive measures to protect the Constitution and democratic ideals.

“The text is what governs,” said Scalia, explaining that it would be wrong to bring in the historical circumstances at the time of the Constitution’s signing or to attempt to interpret the intent of those who wrote the document.

“I don’t care what their intent was. We are a government of laws, not of men,” he explained.

Scalia defends opposition to gay rights in response to question at Princeton – The Daily Princetonian.

NOM sees one-third decline in contributions for 2011 – LGBTQ Nation

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) saw a steep decline in the amount of money it raised in 2011 – dropping to $6.2 million from the $9.1 million it raised the previous year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Just two donors were responsible for funding 75 percent of the anti-gay group – the organization reported two donations of approximately $2.4 million each. The information is available in NOM’s 2011 990, which NOM made available this evening after HRC requested the documents in-person at their Washington, D.C. office earlier this morning.

“The National Organization for Marriage continues to push the notion that there is some sort of grassroots support for their discriminatory anti-gay agenda,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz.

via NOM sees one-third decline in contributions for 2011 – LGBTQ Nation.

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Boy Scouts of America No Longer Eligible for Grant Funding from The UPS Foundation | GLAAD

The UPS Foundation today joined a growing number of corporate leaders in providing financial support to those organizations that align with the company’s non-discrimination policy. Under this policy, the Boy Scouts of America is no longer eligible for grants from the UPS Foundation because of the BSA’s ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.

The UPS Foundation posted the following on its site:

The UPS Foundation seeks to support organizations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and non-discrimination policy. UPS and The UPS Foundation do not discriminate against any person or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable law, as well as other categories protected by UPS and The UPS Foundation in our own policies. These include, but are not limited to race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, pregnancy, age and religion.

UPS confirmed to GLAAD that under these guidelines, which UPS said have been in development for several months, organizations that are unable to attest to having a policy or practices that align with the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy will no longer be considered eligible for funding. Prior to The UPS Foundation’s non-discrimination language, UPS gave $167,000 to various Boy Scouts of America entities in 2010 and said there would not be a change to grant-making at that time according to an American Independent report in September 2012. UPS has consistently received high marks on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index, an annual survey that rates U.S. corporations on their non-discrimination policies and practices toward LGBT employees and consumers.

via Boy Scouts of America No Longer Eligible for Grant Funding from The UPS Foundation | GLAAD.

What Do Social Conservatives Want? | Cato @ Liberty

Social conservatives talk about real problems but offer irrelevant solutions. They act like the man who searched for his keys under the streetlight because the light was better there.

Social conservatives tend to talk about issues like abortion and gay rights, stem-cell research and the role of religion “in the public square”: “Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life, marriage and religious liberty have forgotten the lessons of history,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) at the Values Voter Summit.

But what is the case for social conservatism that they’ve been making at the summit and in recent interviews?

  • Mike Huckabee: “We need to understand there is a direct correlation between the stability of families and the stability of our economy…. The real reason we have poverty is we have a breakdown of the basic family structure.”
  • Jim DeMint: ”It’s impossible to be a fiscal conservative unless you’re a social conservative because of the high cost of a dysfunctional society.”
  • Rick Santorum: “We can have no economic freedom unless we have good, virtuous moral people inspired by their faith.”

Those are reasonable concerns, but they have little or no relationship to abortion or gay marriage. Abortion may be a moral crime, but it isn’t the cause of high government spending or intergenerational poverty. And gay people making the emotional and financial commitments of marriage is not the cause of family breakdown or welfare spending

via What Do Social Conservatives Want? | Cato @ Liberty.

David Boaz: Republicans, Gay Marriage and the Sound of Social Change

Fortunately, Republicans are mostly ignoring Santorum and his allies these days. They see the long-term damage that the anti-gay crusade is doing them. Back in 2004 they thought that social issues, especially gay marriage bans, would help them win the presidential election. It wasn’t really true even then: it turns out that George W. Bush’s share of the vote rose just slightly less in the marriage-ban states than in the other states: up 2.6 percent in the states with marriage bans on the ballot, up 2.9 percent in the other states.

This year, even though President Obama and the Democratic platform have endorsed marriage equality, Mitt Romney and the Republicans are staying away from the issue. With good reason. The Washington Post reported earlier this month

via David Boaz: Republicans, Gay Marriage and the Sound of Social Change.

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Marriage equality and the golden rule – The Washington Post

opponents of marriage equality still miss the point: Marriage equality is not about “holy matrimony” or the religious sanction of a “lifestyle” (Question 6 would force no faith to recognize any marriage inconsistent with its religious traditions). It’s about civil marriage licenses and civil status under the law, which confers to people basic respect and dignity.

Moreover, marriage equality doesn’t undermine Judeo-Christian values. In fact, it advances one of the two most important teachings of the Bible: treating others the way you would want to be treated yourself. How I wish that commandment had opened people’s eyes to injustice long ago.

via Marriage equality and the golden rule – The Washington Post.

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Marriage Equality War in Maine By the Numbers | Advocate.com

In a little more than a week, Maine voters will decide whether to reverse their 2009 ban on marriage equality. Will the New England state right a grievous wrong? Or will they once again leave their LGBT residents in the lurch? We gathered information on the latest polls, money raised, and advertisements for and against Question 1 to get a sense of the chances that marriage equality has in Maine.

First off, here’s how Question 1 appears on the ballot:
Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

via Marriage Equality War in Maine By the Numbers | Advocate.com.

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Knights of Columbus gives $100K to Maine anti-gay-marriage campaign | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charitable organization, has given $100,000 to Protect Marriage Maine, the group leading efforts to oppose same-sex marriage in Maine.

The money comes from the international offices of the group, according to a press release.

“I believe this gift will encourage many other Mainers to financially support our efforts to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Bob Emrich, chairman of Protect Marriage Maine. “We look forward to continued financial and grassroots support as the campaign gears up for its final phase of advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts prior to Nov. 6.”

Last week, the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group, released a report that stated that 60 percent of the funding for the four anti-gay-marriage campaigns across the country had come from the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Church, or the National Organization for Marriage. Until this $100,000 gift, the Knights had given only about $1,000 to the Maine campaign and NOM had given $252,000.

via Knights of Columbus gives $100K to Maine anti-gay-marriage campaign | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME.

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Boehner’s DOMA Defense Hits $1.5 Million Limit | Advocate.com

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has decried Republican leaders in Congress for hitting the $1.5 million spending cap on the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which is led by House speaker John Boehner, has intervened in 14 DOMA challenges in federal courts now that the Department of Justice and the Obama administration have decided to stop defending the law in court. So far, $1,447,996.73 of the allotted $1.5 million to continue defending DOMA has been spent within one year and three months, according to the Committee on House Administration. The current contract, agreed upon by the committee’s chairman, Dan Lungren, specifies that spending to defend DOMA in court cannot exceed $1.5 million.

“The American people should no longer have to foot the bill for Speaker Boehner’s campaign to appease the most conservative forces within the Republican Party,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday. “It is time for the Speaker and Congressional Republicans to drop their frivolous, taxpayer-funded lawsuits without any delay. When they do, we will all look forward to the day when DOMA is relegated to the dustbin of history once and for all.”

via Boehner’s DOMA Defense Hits $1.5 Million Limit | Advocate.com.

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