William H. “Bill” Pryor might be Donald Trump’s choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Pryor’s nomination to the federal courts was filibustered due to his apparent racism, homophobia and some nutty statements. Those included saying that Roe v. Wade was the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.” In his confirmation hearing Pryor defended his having “equated private consensual sexual activity between homosexuals to prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, incest, and pedophilia” as being consistent with the majority opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick. According to an amicus brief that Pryor signed onto regarding Lawrence v. Texas.
The brief was opposed to the decriminalization of homosexuality. Therein:
Petitioners’ protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, a constitutional right that protects “the choice of one’s partner” and “whether and how to connect sexually” must logically extend to activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia.
Now, according to fellow orthodox Catholic Ed Whelan at the National Review, Pryor is misunderstood:
As the “must logically extend” phrase makes crystal clear, Pryor’s argument is one of principle: It points out the objectionable consequences of the principle advanced by the other side. It is, in common parlance, a slippery-slope argument.
Pryor clearly isn’t “equating” same-sex relations with bestiality (or with necrophilia or incest or anything else on the list). He’s arguing, rather, that the principle on which homosexual sodomy would be constitutionally protected would also mean that all those other things would also be protected.
Well that’s much better. Instead of claiming that homosexuality is like pedophilia, Whelan’s argument is that allowing homosexuality to be legal will lead to the constitutionality of pedophilia. For that to be true requires one to make a moral equivalence between homosexuality and pedophilia.Thar means that Pryor did equate homosexuality with all of those odious things.
In sum, the charge that the Left made against Pryor during the battle over his Eleventh Circuit nomination is not merely “a charge disputed by some on the right.” It is a charge that no intelligent and fair-minded person should credit or parrot.
Sorry Mr. Whelan. You have just exquisitely demonstrated that the charge is perfectly valid — until logic perishes.