“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?”
— Antonin Scalia, Dec. 10, 2012
I know. Listening to a Scalia argument while you’re in the midst of an otherwise serious debate is a little like letting a chainsaw-juggling clown distract you from putting out the fire engulfing your neighbors home. Your neighbor’s house is burning… and it’s terrible… but… but… just LOOK at him! Those are chainsaws, man!
As much as you know Nino the Clown has missed the point, you sometimes just have to stop and take notice… because not only is Nino the Clown wrong in missing the point, he’s wrong in whatever point he’s trying to make.
So, first… wow. Comparing homosexuality to murder—which is exactly what that statement does even if Nino says otherwise—noted. Scalia’s bias, noted. And the simple answer to the question is, “Yes.” Yes, you can have no moral problem with homosexuality and still have a moral problem with murder. In related news, I also have no moral problem with ethnicity, yet still find the time to have a moral problem with murder.
But, to answer his point (which was that his prior writings on the ability of government to outlaw homosexual acts are constitutionally defensible and properly toned) the legislation of morality is a troublesome proposition, and so should pass a rigorous standard. First, if possible it should abridge no person’s rights as established in the Constitution. Second, the offsetting of such abridgment therefore must be the protection of the rights of another, and the objective balance of those rights, one against the other. Third, the more, itself, must be rationally, secularly defensible (which, really, is an extension of #2).
On all of these metrics, Nino the Clown’s dancing chainsaw routine fails. But we knew that, right? So let’s leave the Clown alone. The house is still burning (marriage equality). It’s time for the adults to get to the business of putting the fire out.