Friday, August 19, 2005

Justice Scalia Hates Gays....

That's the "reasonable" inference reached by political scientist Daniel R. Pinello in a recent article. Pinello reviews the descriptive term used to refer to gays in the important decisions dealing with gay rights in recent years. He concludes that the justices sans Scalia use the term 'gay,' which is considered favorable by the gay community, 24.2% of the time. Scalia, on the other hand, has used the term only once (in a footnote), which adds up to it being used less than 1% in his opinions. Scalia apparently would rather use the word 'homosexual,' which Pinello believes is viewed in the gay community as favorably as 'negro' is in the Black community.

Since Scalia has seen numerous briefs by gay rights organizations, none of which calls itself 'homosexual,' clearly Scalia must know that the gay community disdains being called homosexuals. And yet he continues to use the term. So he must hate gays.

One would think that branding a sitting Supreme Court justice a bigot might require a certain level of evidence. Inferences from language usage would certainly not suffice, especially since the rest of the justices use the word less than a quarter of the time.

But let's assume the gay community would rather be called 'gay' than 'homosexual.' Is there any evidence that they consider the term 'homosexual' offensive? Even more importantly is there any evidence that Scalia knows they dislike the term? The fact that organizations might call themselves 'gay' does not imply they dislike 'homosexual.' It merely shows that some organizations like 'gay' more.

Compare to the African-American community. One could argue that most of the community would rather be called 'African-American.' But does that imply that they find the term 'Black' offensive? I've seen no evidence to compel that conclusion. The existence of a more favorable term does not designate the less favored term offensive.

I think a better question is: why do some liberals hate Justice Scalia?

(Hat Tip: SCOTUS Blog)

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