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Letters: The language of Justice Scalia

April 19, 2013

Re "Scalia's poison pen," Opinion, April 14

Bigoted as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's views on homosexuality seem, he makes a valid legal point by intimating that equal protection claims asserted to support gay marriage similarly support incestuous unions.

Both gay and incestuous couples long were excluded from marriage because of biological considerations. Gays couldn't reproduce, and incestuous couples couldn't do so without a high risk of birth defects. That all changed with the advent of artificial insemination, surrogate pregnancy and other alternative conception techniques.

First cousins in the 25 states that ban their marriages can now, like gays, assert equal protection claims. Why shouldn't they have the same marital rights accorded to first cousins in the other 25 states?

Scalia's discomfiture with the brave new world of variant parenting seems justified. Once all cousins can marry, what will preclude viable equal protection claims from unions bearing closer degrees of consanguinity?

Sandra Perez

Santa Maria

Though I agree with Duncan Hosie that Scalia's words on a host of subjects are often poisonous, Scalia's votes on gay marriage will be the least interesting of the nine cast. That award will go to Justice Clarence Thomas.

Had the Supreme Court upheld anti-miscegenation laws in 1964, it's likely he would not have been allowed to marry his white wife. I'm betting that with Thomas, hypocrisy will win out.

Alexander Wallace

Los Angeles

There does not seem to be anything in Scalia's language that is offensive to gays, and Hosie, the Princeton freshman who questioned Scalia about the justice's view, cites none. Rather, he takes issue with Scalia's position that homosexual behavior could be considered reprehensible and that society could exhibit an animus toward it.

Hosie seems to agree that certain behaviors — bestiality and incest — are in fact reprehensible. He only maintains that homosexuality should not be lumped with them. That is not a matter of language but of philosophy.

The bestiality and incest communities will undoubtedly register their concerns about Hosie's animus toward them.

Elliott Oring

Long Beach

One of the highest justices in our country equates morality that says murder is wrong with the morality that informs his views on homosexuality?

First, I didn't know that the Supreme Court concerned itself so much with morality as with the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. I'm pretty sure that rights are violated when someone is murdered. In the case of gay marriage, no rights are being denied if it's legal.

Second, hypothetically speaking, would Scalia be as morally outraged if his son murdered someone as he would if he married his male lover?

Debbie Wall

Long Beach

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