New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to apologize for remarks he made comparing anti-sodomy bans to laws against bestiality and murder.
"The justice should apologize," Quinn told Chris Matthews in an appearance on Hardball on MSNBC, reports Azi Paybarah at Capital New York. "It's offensive. Sexual orientation is who we are as people. It's how we're created," she said.
Scalia made the comments Monday in an appearance at Princeton University. A gay freshman asked the conservative justice about his stance, exemplified in his dissent in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case that struck down anti-sodomy laws.
“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” said Scalia. He added that he was not comparing the acts of homosexuality and murder, but drawing a parallel between the prohibitions against them.
“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd’…If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?” he asked. “Can we have it against other things?”
Quinn, who married her partner last May, said the comments were “wrong,” even if the famously outspoken justice only meant to engage in “some philosophical exercise.”
"Don't compare me to a murderer because I'm a lesbian. Don't do it. It's wrong," she added.
Matthews observed that Scalia took a “nasty” tone. He asked Quinn, a leading contender for the Democratic mayoral nomination, whether there would be a more “proper” way for opponents to express disagreement with her.
“My father always said, ‘It’s nice to be nice,’ and it is,” said Quinn. “And you should treat other human beings even if you disagree with them, even if you dislike who they are, in a respectful way. The justice was disrespectful to me and my family.”
Scalia's comments sparked controversy as the court prepares to hear challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, the California marriage ban. The justice also said that he does not view the Constitution as a "living document" that changes with the times, instead calling it "dead, dead, dead, dead."