Nonsensical justice

Published December 18, 2012 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A gay Princeton student asked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last week why he likens laws banning sodomy (laws the court ruled unconstitutional) with laws against bestiality and murder. The justice responded: "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"

This reminded many of Scalia's 2003 dissent in Lawrence v. Texas: If state sodomy bans are unconstitutional, then other bans are, too, including "laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity."

That makes no sense. There isn't just one morality in America; there are many moralities. Just because Mormons believe it's immoral to consume alcohol doesn't mean a law should forbid others who don't think it's immoral to imbibe. More is needed to justify a law than some people's belief that something is immoral.

Allowing same-sex marriage doesn't mean you must also allow murder. Laws banning murder rely on more than just morality, but on the principle that one's rights end where another's begin. The morality police are free to live as they believe; they should allow others the same, especially in the fundamental right of marriage.

Julian Wells

Salt Lake City

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