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March 25th, 2009
10:31 AM ET

Frank defends calling Scalia a "homophobe"

 Rep. Barney Frank defends his recent comments toward Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Rep. Barney Frank defends his recent comments toward Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Congressman Barney Frank is taking some heat for referring to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as a "homophobe".

The Massachusetts congressman joined us live to defend his comments.


What do you think about Frank's comments? Is Justice Scalia a "homophobe" for his dissent of Lawrence v. Texas?

Filed under: Gay Rights • Politics
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. greg in jacksonville florida

    barney frank does not speak for me, nor will he be the character by which all gay people are judged.. because if you want to play that game.... then lets play that game, and then we all lose.

    thousands of soldiers died because of a war based on lies, a straight man, president george w bush.. does that mean all straight people are liars and should be tried for war crimes against humanity.

    and if you dont want to go that route, then lets go the reverand jim baker, jimmy swaggart, rep vitter, etc, etc, etc,,, and how about the failure rate of heterosexual marriages.. half, is it? ... if this is the game that you want to play, then no one should be allowed to have a state recognized marraige, seeing how half of the ones that are recognized end in failure.. why should the government recognize and give tax breaks among other things to something that has just as good a chance as failing as it does succeeding. so why should the government be in that buisness at all, except to make heterosexuals feel superior to others. which is pathetic.

    and again, i would like to reiterate, that for this homosexual, their is only one debate .. the debate of equality. full constitutional federal equality. this debate will always end there.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  2. howard in anderson

    Liberals like the dishonest Barney Frank are trying to smear the right wing in order to take the focus off of the Teleprompter in Chief and his terrible plan to wreck our economy for a generation.

    Excuse me if I don't take Mr. Frank very seriously, because I refuse to cede the moral authority to a man who ran a gay brothel out of his apartment with Steve Gobie, hired Mr. Gobie as a prostitute, and abused his power and was reprimanded by the house for using his congressional office to fix 33 of Steve Gobie's parking tickets and writing letters using congressional stationery on his behalf to Virginia probation officials. If anything, Barney Frank and his ilk are heterophobes.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  3. Leland Wade

    Insofaras equality under the law goes,we might even see it before I die--- im 78– but we will never achieve any kind of peace. All the horse hockey about the greatness and goodness of the American people is pure hoo hah. There are a lot of mean louses out there, kids!! can you spell Dick Cheney??? for instance

    March 26, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  4. greg in jacksonville florida

    my anger of the discrimination against me for being who i am is real. no one on this planet has FACTS to say i am anything other than gay. NO ONE. the fight is not over, we will achieve equality.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  5. greg in jacksonville florida

    any discussion involving gays in this country can ONLY lead to the fact of inequality.... so just because the starting topic is not gay marriage.. for gays and lesbians who are legally discriminated against and denied over 1000 FEDERAL privelages of marriage based on the issue of religion only respresents the desperate need for equality in this country and that begins with marriage, the foundation of every home.

    the inequality that is the ban on gay marriage is against the very foundation of this country, the denial of the involvement of state into religion. my religious belief is that there should be no religion to tell me how to feel, there should be no religion to limit the power of God, there should be no religion to tell me who to love and who not to love, there should be no religion to be used as a tool of discrimination. why should anyone elses religion trump my religoius beliefs and used to treat me and my kind as second class citizens in our own country.

    for anyone to use religion or for anyone to put their personal feelings into my government by way of constitutional ammendments or judicial rulings is wrong and discrimination in its purist form. you do not have to afraid of homosexuals to be homophobic, you just have to treat them as anything other than complete equals. the fact that it is even a debate in the land of the free is sad.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  6. Father Tom

    As an Antioch Catholic priest that belongs to a denomination that eschews any interference between the love of people regardless of their sexual orientation, I can certainly understand why many of the comments here have swerved to the "gay marriage" track. In fact tho, as Sen Frank made it clear, his labeling of the Justice has nothing to do with this particular question.

    In fact, I have always thought that the purpose of the Supreme Court has been to validate and protect the liberties and rights of the Constitution, with fair and objective evaluation that does not take into consideration one's personal beliefs and convictions, especially those engendered by religion.

    If this is indeed the case, then Barney Frank certainly has not crossed the line in labeling this individual as a homophobe. If bigotry is allowed to exist at the upper levels of our government, then how can we ever expect the guarantee of civil rights to be validated in this nation?

    March 26, 2009 at 6:52 am |
  7. Grey W. Black

    Barney Frank is one homosexual who is very frightening...the guy is damn near a lunatic, and a very dishonest man. Frankly, I fear the guy , including his power in politics, and his unscrupulous ways. I guess that makes me a homophobe too.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm |
  8. greg

    hey karen westfield, since you have it in tight with God, can you ask him a question for me... why in my heart do i love another man.

    seriously, are you that arrogant to know what God hates and doesnt hate.. and you cannot use the bible as the truth, since a misinterpretation has been discovered and yet still printed in each version, which brings me to another point. the other day, i saw a book, the name of the book is "The New American Version Bible"

    1. the bible is not new
    2. the bible is not american
    3. the bible, or word of God cannot have versions or editions

    but thanks for your input on what God hates... and btw, can you tell him that my aunt that died of cancer lived her life according to him and yet she suffered so much.. we all a.ppreciate that.. thanks a bunch.

    equality for all.

    and i see no one has attempted to answer my question, if marriage is a religious institution, why do you need a certificate from the state to make it legal, isnt God enough? my guess is people are too afraid to address this question for fear of their own hypocrisy.

    March 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  9. Karen Westfield

    Frank is trying I don't believe the judge is homophobic, he just against the gay life style.And so do I. I always hated that phrase. There nothing gay about sodomy. God hates it and so do I. Not the person, most are very fine people to know. Smart as can be,, that's another way we know that Satan has power in this world. The've just been deceived and some misled into believing they are alright. Look at the republican leadership. They know what they do is wrong, full of hate, racism, think they are entitled, power hungry. Take your pick .

    March 25, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  10. David

    Ronald Reagan – "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

    Right Wing Conservatives – "Yay, we hate government interfering in our personal lives"

    Texas Legislature ' "We're from the government and we're here to ensure you don't have sex with the wrong people"

    Right Wing Conservatives – "Yay, the government subjecting us to it's moral beliefs"

    George W and his fellow Neocons – "We're from the government and we're here to read your email and spy on your phone conversations without warrants"

    RIght Wign Conservatives – "Yay! the government is here to make us feel safer"

    Congressman Franks comments were probably not accurate as I don't think judge Scalia is actually afraid of homosexuals, he just doesn't like the thought of them having sex with one another. I think congressman Frank's time can be better spent than calling judge Scalia names. Scalia is allowed to have his opinions on human sexuality without being called names.

    March 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  11. Matthew

    Brett: In 1784, five years before he became president of the United States, George Washington, at the age of 52, was nearly toothless, and hired a dentist to transplant nine teeth into his jaw, after having them extracted them from the mouths of his slaves.

    Unfortunately, the founders were hampered by the culture of their time. While Washington and Jefferson privately expressed distaste for slavery (Jefferson once called it an "execrable commerce"), they also understood that it was part of the political and economic bedrock of the country they helped to create.

    In Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, stating that slaveowners have a right to retrieve their "property." At the same time, the Supreme Court declares that enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law is a federal responsibility in which states are not compelled to participate.

    Fortunately, however, this debate is not about our founding fathers, it is about Congressman Barney Frank referring to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as a “homophobe”, and Justice Scalia's intrepretation, as a Jurist, of the Constitution.

    The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which as you may know, is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791, and restates the Constitution's principle of Federalism by providing that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    As the Commentator very eloquently pointed out, and I agree with, it is Justice Scalia's belief that it is not within the Court’s power to make decisions based upon its own moral beliefs, and that changes should come through the democratic process and through the legislature and the people – not the court.

    Furthermore, Justice Scalia was confirmed in 1986 by the Democratically-controlled Senate by a 98 to 0 confirmation vote.

    Todd: This debate is about Congressman Barney Frank referring to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as a “homophobe”, and not, rather, your assertion that "he was criticizing the homophobia itself." If you intend to "chime in", please get your facts straight, no pun intended.

    March 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  12. JJ

    Tim: The following is from Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary.
    Main Entry: ho·mo·pho·bia
    Function: noun
    Date: 1969
    : irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals
    — ho·mo·pho·bic \-ˈfō-bik\ adjective

    Try reading a dictionary before erroneously instructing others.

    March 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  13. Tim

    Mr. Barnie Frank joins many others in his misuse of the word "homophobe". A phobia is a fear of of something. A person would be "homophobic" if they were afraid of being near a homosexual, afraid of touching a homosexual, afraid of talking to a homosexual, afraid of working with a homosexual, etc. If one disagrees with the practice of homosexuality on moral or other grounds, they are not by definition a homophobe. The use of that term is incindiary, unfair, incorrect and a huge obstacle to any meaningful dialogue on this subject.. Many Christians who are opposed to the practice of homosexuality based on passages of scripture such as the second half of Romans chapter 1, have often been labelled homophobes". Should they call unbelievers "Christophobic"?

    March 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  14. Dan

    Read the dissent for yourselves! and search for the string “Let me be clear” and read until the end of the paragraph. This is pretty cut and dry – until you start letting your personal feelings muddle your thoughts.

    March 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  15. Brett

    "Tony" is hard to take your "reasoning" seriously when words like "forces of darkenss" and "demonic pleasures" appear in it. I mean is this a political debate about the supreme court's handling of the homosexual intimacy issue or is it a blog for the Lord of the Rings Fan Club. Grow up, Peter Pan. It is even more difficult to understand how you can fault Frank for "tangled and warped reasoning" and bash the "political correctness of our era" when your line of reasoning is squarely based on the theological scare tactics of the Old Testament. You should never be talking about "reason" or "politics" if your only means of debating those issues is the inherently unreasonable and apolitical nature of religion. And that is not a knock on religion. Religion is based on faith, not rationality.

    March 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  16. Cary Fitch

    Why is it "politically correct" or Liberally correct for Frank to call Scalia a "homophobe", a term I am sure Scalia would not like?

    But if Scalia or someone else where to call Frank a fag, queer, or heterophobe, they would be shredded by Frank and friends and the self proclaimed mainstream media.

    Does this seem even a little bit unbalanced?

    Frank's recent tragic comedy act in berating AIG's Liddy shows what a clown he is. He has been in Congress for years. If there is a govenmental problem he has been as much a failure as a congressman as everyone else he tries to blame.

    Congressman Frank should join Senator Grassley and commit Hari Kari in the wells of their respective Congressional chambers . Then I would have respect for both of them. Not for their service, but for their honor and commitment to their "standards". And, right away there would be two new opportunities for two other competent citizens to server their county! A win-win result!

    Cary Fitch

    March 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  17. Caral from SoCal

    So Mr. Frank starts the verbal assault. At this point in our enlightenment, if you believe in traditional values, the sanctity of life, or – God forbid – traditional marriage – you are well on your way to being a homophobe.

    You know what? This is NOT about equal rights. It is NOT about marriage. It is about the agenda of Mr. Frank and other gay rights activists who are pushing for societal acceptance. Nothing will satisfy them unless every knee shall bow and bless them and their sexual behavior.

    If a Supreme Court Justice arguing a legal opinion – whose words, by the way, were drastically taken out of context if you actually read the decision – is not safe from verbal attack, none of us are when we voice our opinion on the street, in our public or private lives.

    March 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  18. Peugeot

    Any time you bring a case, the court must decide it on the basis of the LAW; not how it feels, not how you think things should be, not what is "fair", etc. Most people seem not to be aware of that fact. What originalists are in effect saying to lazy legislators is that they (the legislators) should think through what they're writing into law, not leave it to the courts to decide what the gobbledygook means. Mr. Frank seems to like to spend his waking hours expressing his outrage at various people instead of thinking through his positions.

    March 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  19. Brett

    And "mike" your comment that:

    "How about the fact that it’s been proven over history that once society breaks down to it’s utter decay that sexual immorality rises to the top"

    Please, please send me some "factual" evidence of this notion. I am dying to know how through my 20+ years of education I missed this obvious fact of the universe. When was this so-called sexual immorality reign over the world, when the drug addict- like gays "rose to the top"? Mike, please get your "history" lessons from someone other than your evangelical sunday school teacher.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  20. Johnny DC

    Some great back and forth in the comments here. While I am a Conservative Republican, I am also completely 100% non-homophobic. Whether or not we are individually homophobes or heterophobes (clever argument), Frank and the other vehement supporters of Frank are missing the very obvious, very clear point here. Scalia's argument is not for or against the rights of gays - his argument is simply against the notion that it is in the jurisdiction of the US Supreme Court to apply laws specifically to certain sects of the public differently.

    Why can't liberals, gays, Democrats, and those quick to point the finger see the distinction? The Supreme Court has a very, very delicate task of setting precedents that people will follow for generations. What they can and cannot say is more important than just a "well it's obvious that gays need equal treatment so hear this case" notion. Whether right or wrong, he knows that it's not the SCOTUS's decision.

    If you can't see the difference between "hating gays" and "having no jurisdiction to make a decision", then I feel sorry for your lack of insight and open-mindedness. I applaud Scalia on his resolve and clearness of thought on this matter.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  21. James

    We need more Scalias - I can't get enough of the guy!

    I especially enjoy how emotional people get in response to his emotionless, well-reasoned well grounded thinking/arguments.

    God love him!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  22. Tony

    Barney Frank's reasoning is tangled and warped. He says that Justice Scalia's written opinions about what he calls "consensual sex" have nothing to do with marriage. I have a news flash for Barney: Marriage is consumated by "consensual sex" and has for centuries been understood to be the only legitimate context for "consensual sex". Even today with all the mind-bending political-correctness gobbeldy-gook, most Americans STILL believe that marriage is the only legitimate context for consensual sex.
    When you've given your being over to the forces of darkness, exchanging the glory and dignity of being made in God's image for momentary, animalistic, and even demonic pleasures, I suppose you would lose sight of the connection between marriage and intimacy.
    May God grant Mr. Frank repentance unto salvation, and may Americans see through the degraded view of humanity that his supporters represent.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  23. Bekah

    Wow, Mike, how typical telling me to go back to my closet and not infect people with my disease. Guess what? I'm HETEROSEXUAL and getting married in September. Thanks for automatically assuming I'm some sick, diseased homosexual. Ugh. People like you make me sick.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  24. Dan

    Scalia’s dissent specifically states that he recognizes that the law could be viewed as oppressive. He expressed that he felt that the law needed to be left to democratic process and not a court of judges who feel that they know what is best for a particular group in society. I agree 100% that the law is ridiculous! However, it’s not right to call Scalia a homophobe based on his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas. Read the dissent for yourselves! and search for the string “Let me be clear” and read until the end of the paragraph. This is pretty cut and dry – until you start letting your personal feelings muddle your thoughts.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  25. Michele

    1. Using names to make a point is adolescent. Mr. Frank went down to the level of many ignorant homophobic people in the country when they write or say homophobic slurs. It was unnecessary.
    2. Saying he could be called a female-phobe is ridiculous considering he never said those in heterosexual relationships should go to jail.
    3. The God argument of right vs. wrong re: homosexual behavior has no place in law. If that were the case than we should be putting adulterers in jail since that is actually one of the 10 commandments – yet we ignore that pretty quickly don't we. I also wouldn't defend the right to "preserve" marriage with a 5% failure rate – but to each their own.
    4.Until all have equal rights than none have them. Rights cannot be equal if they are limited to a certain type of person.
    5. Anyone who makes an argument vs. gays by using the beastiality or molestation argument is forgetting two very important pieces of the homosexual relationship – a. It is consentual and b. It is between two persons of same peer/power level (in other words: the pedaphile practices a relationship that is of unequal power dynamic between the adult & child)...not to mention that the overwhelming majority of molestors are HETEROSEXUAL.

    Look – we all have the right to agree to disagree. Personally, I think the LGBTQ community and their supporters should boycott all businesses who are opponents of equal marriage laws, refuse to shop in stores, refuse to buy products, refuse to vote for politicians (yes, Mr. Obama, that means you & your buddy the REV.), etc. Until the LGBTQ community hits America in its pocketbook, nothing will change. Because its not family values we really care about as a country (look at how much we invest in our steroid, drug using, wife beating, jail hopping, non-child support paying pro athletes vs. how much we invest in our schools), its the value of a dollar. Don't believe me? Than how come we have some really God fearing, husband/wife/children, hardworking non-criminal POOR & SUFFERING people in the country? Answer: if it ain't you, than you don't care.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  26. Brett

    In response to "matthew": absolutely we have a right in this country to express our personal convictions and voice, rather loudly if we want, our opinions, as ridiculous as they may be to some people. However, what you fail to realize and what Frank does, maybe because of the Harvard Law education you mention, is that the Supreme Court was meant to be a check on the ideological banter of our legislative and executive branches. Our Founders saw the judicial branch as the go-between, the rational desicion-makers, who could find common ground in ideological political warfare. Supreme Court justices are NOT supposed to let their personal, moral convictions cloud their legal judgment, although it is laughably apparent that they do. As a law student myself, I can tell you that Scalia's rambling personal attacks on a wide range of topics do not come close to being protected by the "free speech" argument. Sure, it would be absolutely appropriate, in a constitutional sense, for him to walk outside the Supreme Court building, as a citizen, and say what he wants about gays or green aliens or whatever it is he dislikes at the moment. But the moment he puts his black robe back on and becomes a member of the most powerful/ influential judicial body in the world, his personal beliefs should always acquiesce to rational legal debate. It is what our Founders wanted, it is what our citizens deserve, and it is how we continue to respect the constitutional rights you so incorrectly apply to Scalia's shenanigans

    March 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  27. Todd

    Matthew, you contradict yourself. You say "both Mr. Frank and Justice Scalia have the Constitutional right to think and say whatever they want based on their own personal beliefs and moral convictions." Rep. Frank is simply exercising his own freedom of speech when he criticizes Scalia for his views on homosexuality. Frank wasn't criticizing Scalia's right to have those views, he was criticizing the views themselves. He wasn't criticizing his right to be a homophobe, he was criticizing the homophobia itself.

    I don't get your accusation that by Franks logic, he is a "female phobe." Has he expressed the same distrust of women as teachers as Scalia does of gays? Does he criticize the "female agenda" for trying to change society's attitudes toward women. No he does not.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm |

    Look at the comments from these conservatives (Libertarians, Republicans, and Rednecks oh my!) and if you can't see the hypocrisy then you must be one of them. Consider the fact that more than one of you actually blamed Barney Frank for the status of our economy!!! DO YOU HAVE ANY MORALITY!!! The only thing you are good at is changing the topic and diverting the conversation rather than addressing the facts.

    The issue here is not Barney Frank. The issue here is Scalia and his obstinate lack of tolerance. FACT. Scalia supported government intervention into the completely private and completely harmless acts of completely American citizens completely because they were gay. One of you defends this saying that Scalia was just attempting to prevent "the court’s attempt to legislate morality from the bench," but another defends this saying that Scalia should base his opinions on his "own personal beliefs and moral convictions." It makes my head spin.

    I believe that Barney Frank is right and Scalia is a homophobe. How many of you are the same, I wonder. When you defend Scalia, are you defending yourselves? When you change the subject, are you trying to ignore your own prejudices and inadequacies? When you scream at me, are you trying to get an actual point across or just drown me out? How do you rationalize using two opposing arguments to support the same conclusion? Is it just about winning or will you ever learn to admit your abundant failures? Remember, you won 8 years ago and look where we are now.

    So go ahead and perpetuate your ignorance: it suits you well.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  29. Joel

    Frank: "[Scalia] thinks it takes sides in the culture war to say people shouldn't be imprisoned for private sexual acts."

    Can anyone tell me why society is becoming much more accepting of homosexuality than of polygamy? I’m seeing some blatant inconsistencies! So, society says: "The private sexual acts of polygamists should be illegal, but the acts of homosexuals should be legal"? Seriously, if I said that polygamy shouldn’t be illegal and should be a protected right of mankind, Barney Frank would likely consider that taking a side with polygamists.

    Let’s all start thinking consistently, folks. The reason homosexuals have been gaining acceptance and approval is because of strong lobbying groups and because of positive media (like every other movie created these days).

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  30. greg in jacksonville florida

    wow.. who is asking anyone to accept the fact that i am a homosexual, i am just demanding that i be treated no different than my heterosexual brothers and sisters....i could care less what you feel is moral or immoral, you are not my creator, nor my judge. but i will NOT be treated as a second class citizen in my own country. a country where haleigh cummings father can marry the 17 year old child who was the last "adult" to see his daughter before she went missing weeks ago.. it is sickening that in the eyes of so many, that marriage is moral and alright, but for me to marry the man i love and want to spend my life with, not you , not yours, nothing to do with you, is not legal....

    but back to my original point.. i dont care if you accept me, but as a natural born tax paying citizen of this country, your opinion of me and whether or not i was born this way or chose to live this way does not matter to me. but i will NOT be treated as a second class citizen by people who are hypocritical (saying its a religous institution but then getting a state marriage license, is God not enough).

    equality for all, or none.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  31. Dan

    Anyone who's read Scalia's dissent in Romer knew this already; one could fairly see the froth and spittle flying as he penned it. Congressman Frank is just the highest profile politician to actually call out Scalia on his obvious bigotry, which has no basis in the Constitution.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  32. Tori_Fox-Hunter

    "Sexual behavior is private" according to Frank. And apparently he also thinks that any views that don't happen to accord with his own also have to be kept private. Has he ever heard of the First Amendment? Gay activists' assault on free speech is the real story here.

    The unspoken premise of Frank's comments is that there can be no legitimate differences when it comes to views about "homosexuality", i.e. no one can legitimately be opposed to it. He tries to shift attention from this power play by claiming that differences with regard to gay marriage are "legitimate". Guess what folks? Tomorrow the gay lobby is going to tell you that you can't legitimately disagree with them when it comes to gay marriage either.

    Support free speech! Stop the gay lobby's fascistic tactics!


    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  33. Mike

    RLPincus: So tell us all what parts of the bible explain your argument? Don't use the bible as a weapon when you don't know it.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  34. JOE

    Way to go Barney. Wouldn't want to confuse the issue with facts. So typical of you, call people names and twist everything into knots. Scalia's comments were in regard to the constitutionality of the law they were prosecuted under. Very sad that someone like this gets reelected over and over again. Just shows you the tremendous advantage that incumbents have. This guy is a walking (and constantly talking)advertisment for term limits. The only problem with that is that these people never really go away. They end up in a non-elected position compliments of their buddies.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  35. greg in jacksonville florida

    in my opinion, those that vote to deny gays and lesbians the equal right of marriage are homophobic. i am not sayint that they are evil people, just people who believe it is okay to discriminate against someone for being gay and lesbian, which is the pure definition of homophobia.

    i would also like to add, that those that declare "marriage", a religious institution, and then go to the state and pay for a marriage license to recognize their marriage are nothing but hypocrites. if "marriage" were truly a religious institution, then why do you need the states recognition, is God not enough for you or do you need the 1000+ federal privelages of marriage. if so then you are saying that "marriage" is not about religion, rather about money, and therefore your agurment that "marriage" is about religion makes you a hypocrite.

    so i would like to ask those that consider marriage a relgious institution, why do you need recongition from the state, is God not enough? (i have asked this to many people and have never gotten a straight answer, just the typical retoric, "its just the way it is", which just makes them ignorant hypocrites)

    March 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  36. Robert

    Please read the opinion in the Lawrence case. Scalia is arguing against the Court overruling the voters and legislators in Texas. Frank asks us to read the case, but I am afraid he did not. Scalia writes in his opinion, "Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals or any other group promoting their agenda through normal democratic means." The opinion goes on to identify that as time evolves and through democratic (Legislative) means behavior may be accepted and decriminalized.

    We may want the behavior to be decriminalized but the Constitution does not require it.

    Frank's accusations are unfair.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  37. Commenter

    Congressman Frank severely misinterprets the two cases in which he uses to support his notions about Justice Scalia. While I do support gay rights, it is critical that we not allow our politicians to skew the facts which surround their propositions. He urges us to read the two cases (TX v. Lawrence and Romer v. Evans) in hopes that we reach the same conclusion as he with regard to Justice Scalia. But I urge that, as a society, we cannot be so easily persuaded as things are not always as they seem.

    Justice Scalia is an originalist who interprets the law through a strict reading of the Constitution. Although this may not fit perfectly within the changing of times, originalism allows for an interpretation of the Constitution which guarantees that our fundamental rights are never infringed upon.

    Justice Scalia's dissent in the TX v. Lawrence is stretched too far by Congressman Frank, and I am even more disappointed in the press for allowing such an unsupported interpretation. The original intent of the Texas law was to prohibit sodomy in an effort to protect children. Justice Scalia, including the majority in TX v. Lawrence ALL attested to the notion that there is no "fundamental right" under the Constitution to sodomy. Whether or not one morally believes this to be true, it is indeed not a right which is protected under the Constitution. The main thrust of Scalia's dissent in Lawrence did NOT deal with his views on homosexuality, but rather his centered on his belief that it is NOT within the Court's power to make decisions based upon its own moral beliefs. This theory is fundamental to our nation and our justice system – that changes come through the democratic process and through the legislature and the people – not the court.

    Again, in Romer v. Evans, Justice Scalia's argument had nothing to do with taking a side against homosexuality. Rather, Justice Scalia defended the notion that all people be equal and that no group – NO GROUP – be given preferential treatment under the law . He reiterated the fact that it is NOT for the court to takes sides based upon morals. The Court must interpret the law against the Constitution.

    The greatest thing about our country is the ability to express our ideas. Yet, the greatest downfall to our country is allowing an expression of unsupported and skewed ideas for the sole purpose of pushing one's own agenda. I believe that Congressman Frank's statements represent a step back in the fight towards equal protection and constitute nothing more than mudslinging. If we are to expect more from our Judicial branch, then we must surely expect more from our legislature as well.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  38. Matthew

    RLPincus, Justice Scalia has a valid point in questioning the Court’s attempt to legislate morality from the bench. That is his job, whether you wish to agree with him or not. Democracy is a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives. Given that, why shouldn't the folks in Texas, or California for that matter, be able to decide for themselves which Laws govern their state? If, as a resident of Texas, or California, you don't like the laws that govern the state, then you have the right to move to Massachusetts or Vermont. I suspect that you are an advocate for the "tyranny of the minority", especially when it suits your needs or political beliefs. Fortunately, that is what Justice Scalia is fighting against.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  39. RLPincus

    Speaking of "common refrains", wasn't the core concept of George W. Bush's 2004 nomination acceptance speech "The Ownership Society"? I recall the peals of applause as the gathered Republicans thundered their approval of the incredibly high percentage of home ownership in America, all due to Bush's efforts to free up credit for everyone. See Elliot Spitzer. If only the Bobby Jindals and Fred Thompsons of the world had stood up heroically and wished for a president so committed to destroying the economic fabric of his country would fail, we'd all be better off. So why didn't that happen?

    If you are a Christian and cherry pick one small part of the Bible and demand it becomes a tenet of American law, while you ignore those parts of the Bible whose equal legal footing with your chosen pet project would make life intolerable–indeed the exact opposite of America–then you are not only a hater but a hypocrite. Wear it with pride.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  40. Jason

    Frank should stick to what he's good at, destroying the US economy.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  41. Robert

    Barney Frank just does not understand Scalia's legal argument. Scalia never said that it was ok to throw gay people in jail. His argument is that it is not the purview of the court to decide what the sodomy laws should or should not be in this country. That he and the other members of the court did not have the authority to make that determination. His argument is the same whether or not it is the establishment clause, contracts clause or due process. His dissent was premised on the fact that his personal opinion should play no role in the decision whatsoever. It is just hypersensitive for Frank to think that meant that Scalia had some anti-homosexual agenda. But Frank doesn't understand a lot of what he is doing in Washington, so I am not surprised.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  42. Mark M. Rothrock

    What Congressman Frank is doing here is confusing Justice Scalia's views on the Constitution with his views on homosexuality. Justice Scalia has long been a proponent of a literal reading of the Constitution from which he has drawn that there is no "constitutional" right to privacy. This right to privacy was the issue at stake in Lawrence v. Texas (the homosexual sodomy case to which the Congressman refers). Therefore it would be correct to say that Justice Scalia voted to strike down the appeal in Lawrence v. Texas because this sodomy law, as written, is not unconstitutional, which, after all, is the sole purpose of the US Supreme Court – to decide cases based on the letter of the law – not upon public pressure or personal philosophy. It was in accordance with these principles which Justice Scalia voted – not out of a "homophobic" philosophy. If Congressman Frank wishes to brand any public official(s) as homophobic let him brand those members of the Texas legislature who allow this sodomy law to remain on the books. It is the duty of the legislature to write the law and the duty of the court to interpret the letter of that law. Let's leave rendering of public policy to the legislatures where it belongs – not to the Supreme Court where it so often ends up.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  43. CharlieB

    Mr Frank's comments reflect his propensity to attack someone on a personal basis rather than to discuss the real issues with intelligent people who have differing views on many subjects. This personality failure may be a result of being in the public eye in Washington too long (having this done to him) and being around others who have similar arguing styles. This style plays well to single issue constituants who are not open to legitimate discussion of views.
    While most of us do not agree on every issue, we do find some common ground with friends and colleagues on a varity of issues. We can have those discussions (sometime heated) without resorting to name-calling and personally demeaning others just because they have differing opinions.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  44. Mike

    And lets get another issue straight! I love this word thrown around "homophobe". As if it gives someone an up-hand in a debate that now anything you say can be discredited... rather then having to really debate someone on the issue I'll just label you as something and then I'm better then you. Anyone who disagrees with homosexuality is a homophobe.

    How about the fact that it's been proven over history that once society breaks down to it's utter decay that sexual immorality rises to the top. I don't hate gay people. I equate them with drug addicts. And as drug addicts they need to get to the core of their problem. Why are they gay, my father left me, he never showed me love... then they can confront the real issue and get past it. All you liberals visiting your therapists should know this by know.

    Stop trying to get people to accept you for who you are by changing policy and start dealing with why you don't.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  45. Rich

    Our country has lost almost all of its moral bearing, and Rep. Frank is an obvious advocate of that lack of morals.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  46. Dan

    Did anyone actually read Scalia's dissent? He specifically states that he recognizes that the law could be viewed as oppressive. He expressed that he felt that the law needed to be left to democratic process and not a court of judges who feel that they know what is best for a particular group in society. I agree 100% that the law is ridiculous! However, it's not right to call Scalia a homophobe based on his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas. Read for yourselves! and search for the string "Let me be clear" and read until the end of the paragraph.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  47. Doug

    It is illegal in many parts of this counrty to have: (a) private sex for money, (b) private sex with a minor, (c) private sex with an animal etc... Therefore the US constitution does not universally protect "private sex". it is up to the country at the ballot box via elected officials to decide what is moral and what is immoral. This process should not be co-opted by judges at the Supreme Court or otherwise. That is Mr Scalia's view and Mr Frank is wrong to re-characterize Mr Scalia this way. Mr. Frank and his lobby would prefer the courts trump society which never really resolves the issues that divide us.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  48. D. George

    Barney Frank does his homework and makes his point which is a lot more than his critics on here have done. Scalia's comments and opinion are public record. Too many on the right keep spouting the same misinformation whether it's about liberals or the economy. Repeating something doesn't make it true.

    Frank is taking Scalia's words and I think making a valid interpretation from them.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  49. Stuart Stevens

    Barney in congress since 1981? He needs to be replaced. He the one of the biggest reasons our economy is in the tank. Instead of calling people names he should turn the mirror on himself. Time for him to go. He's a waste of a political position and does nothing but stir up trouble.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  50. barney frank

    Let's finally get rid of Barney Frank from Congress. He's a lunatic. First, he's submarined our economy and now he's attacking Supreme Court justices. What an irony!

    March 25, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  51. Chris

    Maybe Barney Frank is a heterophobe, it seems that gays such as Frank always seem to think they are right and (even worse) that everyone else is wrong. Will I am not a fan of Scalia I fully support his right not to kiss the butt of homosexuals.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  52. Matthew

    Adam, thank you for your comment!
    Joe, Amen brother!

    March 25, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  53. Joe

    Get to know a Christian and don't judge them on how the media tries to paint them. Do some Christians come off wrong, YES! But every group has it's extremist. Marriage is a foundation that has been in place since creation, for a good and healthy reason. That doesn't mean that you hate the homosexual because I don't know anyone that does... GOD said love the sinner, but not the sin.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  54. Bekah

    Also, mgm, this isn't about CHILDREN it's about ADULTS. Try focusing on the actual issue.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  55. marie

    Mike, it is well known that there is homosexuality in other species at about the same rate as in humans–it is found in organisms ranging from fruit flies to primates. There is also increasing evidence for a genetic or hormonal influence in homosexuality. Thus, it is "normal" within the animal kingdom, and clearly not based on "personal choice" or psychopathology–read the science before you critique it.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  56. Bekah

    Mike, that isn't the point if you agree with homosexuality or not. The point is whether Scalia is a homophobe for wanting to throw gay people in jail for having private sex in their own homes between two consenting adults. I thought two consenting adults could do what they want in the privacy of their own property, no?

    And William, like many rabid conservatives you are avoiding the issue: how is what Scalia did not homophobic?

    March 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  57. adam

    Ahh. the common refrain from the left. Christians are hate-filled bigots who will not leave these poor people alone. Whilst I agree anti-sodomy laws are intrusive, outdated, and written by somebody who probably participated in the special olympics, (it's ok to make fun of retarded people, Obama's cool with it) Scalia has a valid point in questioning the court's attempt to legislate morality from the bench.

    It would be refreshing to see liberals practice the tolerance and understanding so often preached. Good people should be able to reach different conclusions on the same issue without being labeled a messenger of hate. I do not consider Ginsberg a pimp and child molester, even though she advocates prostitution and an age of consent of 12. She is misguided.

    Frank should spend less time attacking Scalia, and more time vetting his houseguests.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  58. mgm

    Let's be honest... the liberals are running crazy in our country. Do you think an 11 year old is at an age that they know what love is? Do you think they are old enough to have sex? NO! However we have young children that are declaring they are gay when they don't have a clue what they are... they are still trying to figure it out. And then the liberals freaking out if you try and communicate sense into children... It's always the loudest voice that seems to create change in this country, but whatever means necessary. Open it up so anyone's money can be transfered to another person; the issue is the government losing money! Open it up so anyone can be at your bedside at the time of dying that you choose! Alright, enough with trying to change what marriage is and just change the law's that make sense... Changing a foundation since the beginning of time is foolish!

    March 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  59. William

    Barney Frank is a despicable democRAT hack. Basically, Barney hides behind his gayness. He doesn't have the brains to out-debate people who disagree with his radical left politics, so instead he attacks them on a personal level. Just because somebody disagrees with you does not make them homophobic.

    This is the way Liberal minds work:

    There weren't enough mortgages being issued to people on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, and the democrats thought they knew why. Could it be that the reason for the lack of mortgages was a history of slow or no-pay to the potential mortgagee's creditors?
    Nah! Could it be that the applicants were "upside down" on their debt-to-asset ratio? Uh Uh. Could it be a lack of collateral? Nope!
    There can be only one explanation. It must be........RACISM!
    So we'll pass a law making those racist bankers loan money to people who can't pay it back...That'll fix 'em!

    When it comes to the so-called "Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis," Rep. Frank did more than any one single individual to put us in the mess we're in.

    Considering that in 1990:

    " The House Ethics Committee recommended Frank be reprimanded because he "reflected discredit upon the House" by using his congressional office to fix 33 of Steve Gobie's parking tickets. Frank confirmed that he paid Gobie for sex, hired him with personal funds as an aide and wrote letters on congressional stationery on his behalf to Virginia probation officials, but Frank said he fired Gobie when he learned that prostitution clients were visiting the apartment."

    Can you just imagine the uproar if he had been a Republican?
    Instead, we're fed a never ending stream of BS about how "Courageous" he is. Bullfeathers!

    Barney Frank is a shining example of someone who elevated himself to his level of incompetence. He is incapable of logical thought. Scalia would demolish him in a debate.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  60. jimb

    Barney's a wise and truthful man, and reality has a liberal bias–Scalia IS a homophobe. Sometimes the truth hurts, right wing.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  61. RLPincus

    Matthew, read the article. There is a huge difference opposing gay marriage and wanting gay people thrown in jail. That is the core of the debate and Scalia sides with the latter.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  62. RLPincus

    Scalia has been using his ill-earned position on the SCOTUS to wage his own personal culltural war on certain segments of the American citizenry for years. He truly believes that the conservative concept of government should not be able to regulate what happens in boardrooms–which as we have seen effects every single one of us–but should be able to control private sexual behavior between consenting adults–which effects nobody except for the poor people who get thrown in jail as a result. When Scalia demands that all the insanity in Leviticus becomes the basis for American law, I'll believe that he has some intellectual basis for his theories. Until then, he is just another hateful bigot, unfortunately positioned to do great harm.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  63. Mike

    Just because someone doesn't agree with homosexuality doesn't make them a homophobe. If you look at centuries of civilizations through out history that have fallen to the wasteside you will find sexual immorality at a core of their social decent. Whether you believe in GOD or not everything that you see around you has been created by male and female organisms... It is not normal/natural to have sex with someone of the same sex. For all you science buffs out there that want to use science to prove everything... there you go. I've known several homosexuals that have sought help and found out WHY they prefered someone of the same sex... there is a reason for this. That doesn't mean I don't like homosexuals, I just don't think it's in our interest as a society to open pandora's box... and history has proven that.

    March 25, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  64. Matthew

    Mr. Frank should not be calling people names. Both Mr. Frank and Justice Scalia have the Constitutional right to think and say whatever they want based on their own personal beliefs and moral convictions. Having attended Harvard Law School and awarded a J.D., Mr. Frank should understand that, and he must accept the fact that many people, including the majority of California voters as one example, may disagree with him. Using Mr. Frank's rationale, one could say that he is a "female-phobe".

    March 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  65. gene w

    Barney Frank is the Ernst Rhome of the Democratic Party.

    March 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  66. J. Brennan

    Thank you Rep. Frank. Call a spade a spade. It is refreshing to hear someone take a stand against the conservative side and call them out for their hateful beliefs and slogans. Their views aren't just different, their demeaning and wrong.

    March 25, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  67. Iggy

    Oh do I agree with Barney Frank. Scalia is nothing but a religious homophobe. Yet another smack in the face to "Religion and Politics don't mix" They don't and I am sick and tired of "Christians" as they call themselves coming out against homosexual marriages and even more so their rights. Most of the big-mouthed buffoons against it base their judgement on the Bible. That is a total joke mostly because it is never referred to in the Bible as tight-buttted right-winged Christians would refer to it from their pulpits. Well then if these right-wingers are so dead set againt gay marriage, then inturn they should prosecute all married couples that have ended up in divorce and sentence them to life in prison for pergury against religion to keep things fair and in check.

    March 25, 2009 at 1:21 pm |