New York Mag’s Jennifer Senior asked Scalia if his grandchildren had different views on homosexuality from his own, and he had this to say:
I don’t know about my grandchildren. I know about my children. I don’t think they and I differ very much. But I’m not a hater of homosexuals at all.
Scalia also says he has friends he knows or “suspects” are gay. Not one of these gay friends has ever come out to him, though, Scalia told New York Mag. Given his judicial records on gays, it’s not surprising that the homosexuals in his life would be loath to talk about being gay with him.
Scalia has been reviled by much of the gay community for his controversial statements about gay people and for written opinions that some people construe as anti-gay. In public, Scalia has pointed out that the Constitution doesn’t protect people’s right to engage in “homosexual sodomy.”
The conservative justice also wrote a dissent in 2003 in which he disagreed with the majority’s decision to strike down Texas’ sodomy law. In that opinion, he wrote that, “Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home.”
Scalia also wrote in that opinion that Americans have a right to “protect themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.” He told New York Mag he’d write that statement again, but not because he “personally” thinks homosexuality is immoral.
“Americans have a right to feel that way,” Scalia said.
To be sure, Scalia has never come out and said in public, “I hate gay people” or “gay people make me uncomfortable.” But the strong words about gays he attributes to “Americans” can give us some pretty big clues into Scalia’s own beliefs.
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