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LGBT rights a
topic at Alito confirmation hearing

LGBT rights a
topic at Alito confirmation hearing

Alito_hearings

During his confirmation hearing for the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Judge Samuel Alito said he has ruled in favor of the "little guy," referring to a 2004 case in which he decided in favor of a high school bullying victim who was perceived as gay.

During his confirmation hearing for the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Judge Samuel Altio said he has ruled in favor of the "little guy." Within the first hour of questioning at the hearing, Alito was asked by conservative Kansas Republican senator Sam Brownback whether the so-called Defense of Marriage Act violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution because it says that states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

"I believe that scholars have expressed differing views about how it would apply in that situation, and that's an issue that may well come up within the federal courts, almost certain to do so," he said.

His answer, revealing little about how he might rule in the case, was consistent with other evasive answers Alito has provided before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

Alito did, however, use as an example of ruling for the "little guy" his 2004 decision in favor of a high school bullying victim who was perceived as gay.

"This was a case in which a high school student had been bullied unmercifully by other students in his school because of their perception of his sexual orientation," Alito said. "He'd been bullied to the point of attempting to commit suicide, and his parents wanted to enroll him at an adjacent public high school. And the school board said, 'No, you can't do that,' and I wrote an opinion upholding their right to have him placed in a safe school, in an adjacent municipality."

The citation is notable, considering Alito has been opposed by numerous gay rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal.

In 1999, however, Alito did rule against a school antiharassment ordinance that was designed to protect gay students from verbal abuse. In the case of Saxe v. State College Area School District, the judge said that while harassing speech is not protected, the First Amendment protects speech that people may consider offensive, "including statements that impugn another's race or national origin or that denigrate religious beliefs."

The Alito hearings are expected to last through the week. (Matthew Berger, Sirius OutQ News)

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