In an interview yesterday with a Boston radio station, Rep. Barney Frank defended his use of the term "homophobe" to describe conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s 2003 ruling in favor of limiting legal protections for gays.
In explaining what he meant, Frank told WBZ radio: "What a 'homophobe' means is someone who has prejudice about gay people."
Scalia, he added, “makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people."
Frank, who is gay, called Scalia a homophobe Monday during an interview with a gay online news site.
"I wouldn't want [a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act] to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court," he said.
Frank hopes the challenge to the law, which denies recognition to same-sex marriages even if other states allow them, will not reach the high court until new justices are seated on the bench. He maintains that elected officials who represent the people’s will should decide morality issues such as gay marriage and abortion, not judges.
“While I support same-sex marriage, I don't think if you're against it you're homophobic,” Frank tells WBZ. ”I don't think [fellow Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas is homophobic," despite his "very reasonable" opposition to the ruling.
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