In Oddly Personal Hearing, Supreme Court Justices Seek to Learn What Exactly Makes One Gay
Asking For a Friend, Justices Swear
WASHINGTON – In a follow-up to last month’s landmark oral arguments on gay marriage, the Supreme Court justices took turns asking oddly-personal hypothetical questions about the nature of homosexuality at a hearing tinged with awkwardness, furtive glances, and sexual shame. The nine justices resolved to spend the time necessary to reach a clear and dispassionate ruling on the issue of gay marriage, even though many of them seemed to have no reasonable understanding of what it means to be gay.
At first, Chief Justice John Roberts wondered aloud if he should recuse himself, as he admitted that he “had once had sex with a girl that turned out to be a guy.
“You know,” he added, “you never would have guessed from looking at him/her that he/she had a penis,” as he noted that this was absolutely the last time he would let his friends from college get him drunk. “Now, speaking personally, there’s almost always a woman involved, but I’m not going to lie and say there haven’t been moments of penile-to-penile contact.”
Ultimately, Chief Justice Roberts chose not to recuse himself, as it turned out that applying such a strict standard would leave only Stephen Breyer, the Court’s celibate justice, on the bench for the important case.
With an average age of 67, many justices were confused by the topic of homosexuality, including Antonin Scalia. “I think this case brings up several important questions of legal standing,” said Scalia. “For instance: if you’re standing, and you’re penetrating a male partner, is that gay? And is it legal in Texas if, say, you’re traveling there with your clerk Carlos when court’s not in session?
“I guess it’s like Justice Stewart said – you know it when you see it,” he added.
Justice Clarence Thomas, who rarely asks questions in open court, then rose to speak. “Isn’t the reasonable-person test in order here? Like, let’s say you’re in a hot tub with your best guy-friend and both of your girlfriends. You and your friend agree to kiss so long as the girls kiss. You do it, but the girls chicken out. Now, would a reasonable person find that I – uh, ‘my friend’ – was a closeted homosexual? And what if it was the ‘60s and everyone was doing stuff like that?” asked the justice in a long, rambling question that made many in the courtroom extremely uncomfortable.
Another member of the court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also sought clarification on what specifically made one gay. “I think the legal concept of adultery, as defined in Simmons v. Vermont, is key here. I’ve got just one question – take a woman, oh, let’s say, 80 years old, who’s got a husband who just isn’t meeting her needs anymore,” said Justice Ginsburg, who despite her advanced age and frail appearance has been described as an “animal” in the sack by SCOTUSblog. “So in her loneliness this woman starts to fool around with one or two of her new young colleagues. Let’s call them Sonia and Elena for short. It’s just some harmless fun, but then the Jewish one gets jealous because you’re spending all your time in the ‘chambers’ of the Hispanic one. How might one extricate herself from such a situation?”
Attorney David Boies, who is representing supporters of gay marriage before the Court, stood motionless with his mouth agape for most of the four-hour-long court session.