Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Slinking Towards Sodom
Full U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Lawrence et al. v. Texas, June 26, 2003
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Slinking Towards Sodom
Countless judicial decisions and legislative enactments have relied on the ancient proposition that a governing majority's belief that certain sexual behavior is "immoral and unacceptable" constitutes a rational basis for regulation...
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding...
Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct...
So imbued is the Court with the law profession's anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously "mainstream"; that in most States what the Court calls "discrimination" against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal...
I "can find [neither in the Bill of Rights nor any other part of the Constitution a] general right of privacy," ibid., or as the Court terms it today, the "liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions
Other objectors offered a kind of prude's critique, complaining than it was a travesty to bring all that graphic talk about Thomas's alleged references to sex with animals, and porn star Long Dong Silver, and pubic hairs on Coke cans into our living rooms, where children and old ladies could be watching.
Earlier in the day, as Thomas sought to put his outrage into words, centuries of racial oppression flooded his mind. An old friend had called him the night before to talk about the hearings. Although the friend disagreed with Thomas' politics, he abhorred what was happening to him. The two black men agreed that his adversaries were capitalizing on and perpetuating the vicious stereotype--responsible for so much racial violence--of a sexually voracious black man who needed to be stopped.
As he paced in Danforth's Senate office before going out to meet the committee, Thomas latched onto a thought and a phrase. "This is a lynching," he told the senator. "This is a high-tech lynching." He made some notes before leaving for the Caucus Room.
Reporters sneaking into my garage to examine books I read. Reporters and interest groups swarming over divorce papers, looking for dirt. Unnamed people starting preposterous and damaging rumors. Calls all over the country specifically requesting dirt. This is not American. This is Kafka-esque. It has got to stop. It must stop for the benefit of future nominees, and our country. Enough is enough.
I am not going to allow myself to be further humiliated in order to be confirmed. I am here specifically to respond to allegations of sex harassment in the workplace. I am not here to be further humiliated by this committee, or anyone else, or to put my private life on display for a prurient interest or other reasons. I will not allow this committee or anyone else to probe into my private life. This is not what America is all about. . . .
I will not provide the rope for my own lynching or for further humiliation. I am not going to engage in discussions, nor will I submit to roving questions of what goes on in the most intimate parts of my private life or the sanctity of my bedroom. These are the most intimate parts of my privacy, and they will remain just that, private.
This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It is a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I am concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity-blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that, unless you kow-tow to an old order this is what will happen to you, you will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree.
From Newsweek, March 9, 2001:
[Justice Antonin] Scalia is regarded as the embodiment of the Catholic conservatives…While he is not a member of Opus Dei, his wife Maureen has attended Opus Dei’s spiritual functions…[while their son], Father Paul Scalia, helped convert Clarence Thomas to Catholicism four years ago. Last month, Thomas gave a fiery speech to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, to an audience full of Bush Administration officials. In the speech Thomas praised Pope John Paul II for taking unpopular stands.
And to think that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams opposed the presence of the relatively benign Jesuit order in our land of laws if not of God. President Bush has said that Scalia and Thomas are the models for the sort of justices that he would like to appoint in his term of office.
To say that the issue in Bowers was simply the right to engage in certain sexual conduct demeans the claim the individual put forward, just as it would demean a married couple were it said that marriage is just about the right to have sexual intercourse. Although the laws involved in Bowers and here purport to do not more than prohibit a particular sexual act, their penalties and purposes have more far-reaching consequences, touching upon the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, and in the most private of places, the home. They seek to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to choose to enter upon relationships in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons.
[Writing about W.B. Yeats] He can hardly have had any conception of just how thoroughly things would fall apart as the center failed to hold in the last third of this century. He can hardly have foreseen that passionate intensity, uncoupled from morality, would shred the fabric of Western culture. The rough beast of decadence, a long time in gestation, having reached its maturity in the last three decades, now sends us slouching towards our new home, not Bethlehem but Gomorrah.
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