Friday, June 27, 2003

A Gay Old Time

Supreme Court observers talk often about the brilliance of Antonin Scalia's legal mind. Even those who disagree with him cite his intelligence and reasoning capacity.

So what to make of the most-quoted portions of his dissent in the Texas sodomy case? I haven't read any of the decision in full, but what struck me in the news reports I heard was his lamenting that the Court had "taken up the gay agenda," or something similar, and had entered into the so-called cultural war.

Well, wasn't the Court going to take a side in the culture war regardless of which way its decision went? And the notion of six justices taking up the "gay agenda" -- whatever that means -- is offensive. The case could be distilled into a simple question: Should the government be able to criminalize what happens between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedroom? This is as easy a no-brainer as it gets. Forget all of the hyperventilation from the family-valued crowd about the slippery slope to pedophilia and bigamy. There's enough flexibility in American jurisprudence to protect those who are truly victimized. Neither party in a consensual, adult, gay relationship should be painted as either perpetrator or victim. Bravo to the Supremes for dragging Texas and other states kicking and screaming into the 21st century. (And shame on the Court for waiting so long to do it.)


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