U.S. Supreme Court

Barney Frank Says Justice Thomas Isn’t a Homophobe

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In a radio interview yesterday, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., defended his charge that Justice Antonin Scalia is a “homophobe,” contrasting Scalia’s opinions with those of another dissenting justice in a decision overturning a sodomy law.

Frank cited Scalia’s dissent in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas in support of his point. Scalia “makes it very clear that he’s angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people,” Frank told WBZ, according to accounts in the Boston Globe and On Top magazine. “If you read his opinion, he thinks it’s a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people.”

Scalia wrote that the majority in Lawrence had ratified an “agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”

Frank said it is possible to oppose gay rights without being homophobic, the Globe story says. He said Justice Clarence Thomas also dissented in the sodomy case, but expressed reasonable opposition.

“While I support same-sex marriage, I don’t think if you’re against it you’re homophobic,” Frank said. “I don’t think Clarence Thomas is homophobic.”

And what does Scalia think of Frank’s comment? A satire on the ScrappleFace blog concocts an answer. It has Scalia commenting on Frank’s “heterophobia,” while refusing to speculate whether the condition is “genetic or simply a lifestyle choice.”

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