In a fiery interview Tuesday night on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn rebuked Justice Antonin Scalia's latest comments regarding homosexuality.
The U.S. Supreme Court justice spoke at Princeton on Monday, where he ended up defending his legal writings, which some find offensive and anti-gay, the Associated Press reports. Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.
"I don't think it's necessary, but I think it's effective," Scalia said. “It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd’…If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
Speaking on "Hardball," Quinn, who is openly gay, said the justice's comments were nothing short of "offensive."
“Sexual orientation is who we are as people… and to compare that even in a way you want to say was some philosophical exercise to a heinous, horrible crime of murder–it’s just wrong… Don’t compare me to a murderer because I’m a lesbian," she said.
She said the justice should apologize for his remarks.
In May, Quinn married her partner, Kim M. Catullo, in a star-studded ceremony in New York City, according to The New York Times. The city councilwoman said that Scalia's comments were "disrespectful to me and my family.”
Quinn is highly regarded in the Democratic party and is a likely candidate for New York City mayor next year, Capital New York reports.
Host Matthews observed that Scalia took a “nasty” tone, the Advocate notes. He asked Quinn whether there might be a more appropriate or “proper” way to debate such polarizing issues.
“My father always said, ‘It’s nice to be nice,’ and it is,” Quinn said. “And you should treat other human beings even if you disagree with them, even if you dislike who they are, in a respectful way."
The controversy about Scalia's latest remarks comes shortly after the Supreme Court decided it would hear arguments regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, California's anti-same-sex marriage law.