Scalia draws parallels between bans on sodomy, murder

March 8, 2012 file photo shows Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaking at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File

Just days after the Supreme Court announced it would review two high-profile same-sex marriage cases, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia defended his legal writings that draw parallels between sodomy bans and bans against murder.

"I don't think it's necessary, but I think it's effective," Scalia said during an event at Princeton University, the Associated Press reported, in response to a question from a gay student. Scalia was at the school to promote his new book, "Reading Law." He told the student that he wasn't equating sodomy with murder but drawing parallels between bans on both.

"It's a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd,'" Scalia said. "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"

The Supreme Court announced Friday that next year it will hear arguments over the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as California's same-sex marriage ban, Prop. 8.

Scalia, an outspoken conservative, has sided against gay rights in past Supreme Court decisions: He wrote dissents in both Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, which struck down anti-sodomy laws, and Romer v. Evans in 1996, which struck down a law forbidding protections against discrimination from applying to gays.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor is promoting her own book, a memoir titled "My Beloved World." The book, according to the AP, doesn't detail her three years on the Supreme Court but instead focuses on her personal history. Sotomayor will discuss the book in an interview to air next month on CBS' "60 Minutes."

The Bronx-born Latina describes her poor upbringing and her accomplishments at Princeton University. She defends affirmative action, which the justice says helps disadvantaged students catch up with their more privileged peers. Sotomayor also reportedly says she decided not to have children in part because of her lifelong fight against diabetes and the fear of dying at an early age.

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