July 2015
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Scalia's dissent is far out, man!

By David Long

When’s the last time you remember someone using the word “hippie”?

If you say “quite a while,” that’s only because you haven’t read Justice Antonin Scalia’s hilarious dissent from the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision declaring laws against same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Using puerile mockery to rail and fume about the majority’s opinion, the moon-faced blowhard wrote that if connubial “intimacy” were (as the five pinko, godless judicial activists had decided) a freedom protected by our founding document, then “one would think (it) is abridged rather than expanded by marriage.”

“Ask the nearest hippie,” he added. (I am NOT making this up.)

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the judge hasn’t yet become a likely candidate for involuntary commitment to the “nearest” padded cell. We must also assume he means “having sex” when he says intimacy – as in, Have you two (or three or four, when it comes to hippies) been INTIMATE yet?

So, Scalia obviously believes beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt that hippies are/were the final word on the chafing power of marriage vows as opposed to the “free love” these flower children were rumored to have indulged in with great frequency in the late 1960s. (Even though, Heaven knows, the infidelities and peccadilloes of properly hitched Christian couples have run rampant throughout our larger society ever since Eve messed around with the snake.)

Still, having been referred to in the last century as a hippie myself (even though I would have preferred “beatnik”), I’m rather flattered to be considered by Mr. Scalia as an expert on such matters, i.e., whether marriage truly limits one’s access to “intimacy” with those alluring creatures wriggling so willingly just beyond the bounds of matrimony.

So, as I see it, what Scalia would have me rule on is this: Did I ever regard myself as permanently chained to the marital bed and breakfast after taking the sacred vows, which might have included such frightening phrases as “for better or worse” and “till death do us part”?

Or did I, as a “hippie,” still feel free to engage in “intimate” relationships with people other than my wife?

Hmm, that’s a hard one, as the old joke goes.

Sorry to disappoint you, Judge, but the Age of Free Love ended sometime in the 1970s, when the “me generation” took over and decided that self-interest overrode communal carnal pleasures. I did not have (meaningful) sex with that woman!

Or could it be that Scalia actually wants my opinion (there are no doubt hippies nearer to him than me, but never mind) on whether same-sex marriage is mandated under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

If so, that’s an easy one.

Coinciding, oddly enough, with the Summer of Love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District, the Warren Court ruled in 1967 that any prohibitions against interracial marriage were unconstitutional, despite such snappy arguments as this apparently religion-based one offered up by a Virginia judge during the last gasp of anti-miscegenation laws:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races show that he did not intend for the races to mix.” (Such sound reasoning must still warm Scalia’s cockles!)

Yes, the Supreme Court held that any such laws violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment on both the principle of racial equality and by abridging the fundamental right to marry. A unanimous court said that “Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

Just substitute “sexual orientation” for “race” in that ruling and you’ve got not just this aged ex-hippie’s answer, but one endorsed by the great majority of this country’s citizens.

There is no earthly, or even heavenly, reason, why any two adults should not cement themselves legally and morally to one another if they wish – even if it does tend to “abridge intimacy” with others, which seems to greatly worry the good judge.

Somewhere toward the end of his rambling diatribe, Scalia tells all those who are still reading that if he had penned the majority opinion, he would hide his head in a bag. (Again, I am not making this up.)

Which makes me wonder about the demands of Mrs. Scalia during their “intimate” moments after 5-4 decisions that go his way.

David Long writes from Cortez, Colo.


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