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Antonin Scalia keynoted event at anti-equality diocese; doesn't want it heard, apparently

by Jeremy Hooper

In mid 2014, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a reliable and notorious opponent of LGBT rights, keynoted an event for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, VA. Scalia's son Paul, who has long moonlighted with Catholicism's version of an "ex-gay" movement (called Courage), just so happens to work for this particular diocese. Plus Antonin is himself a member of one of the churches within the diocese (Saint Catherine of Siena), so it wasn't a huge surprise that the Supreme Court justice would make this appearance. The elder statesmen of the robe-wearers' conservative wing has never made any bones about his deep faith.

He is well within his right to make the appearance. And I really need you hear me on this, my critics who sometimes like to hear what they want to hear: I. AM. NOT. SAYING. THE. SPEECH. ITSELF. IS. A. REASON. FOR. RECUSAL. He can speak to his diocese on a myriad of issues and remain perfectly impartial.

However, this note on the Diocese's website has me very curious:

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 At 11.45.31 Am

All of the other speeches from this "men's conference" seem to be there, with links to either audio or video. Scalia's keynote speech, which was then followed by a Q&A, seems to be the only one that is under wraps. I can only find one minor report on Scalia's participation, and it's from a friendly outlet.

And here's the thing: we know without any doubt that the Bishop of Arlington, who was on the flyer right alongside Scalia...

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 At 11.47.29 Am

...has a vested interest and has made a direct plea to the US Supreme Court to take up, and ultimately roll back, marriage rights for same-sex couples:

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 At 11.48.48 Am

Did this topic, which was very hot in Virginia and throughout the nation the entire year pf 2014, come up on this day? One can only presume the Bishop was nearby during the Supreme Court justice's speech and followup Q&A session. Was this Bishop's, and therefore this Diocese's, clear and demonstrable pressure toward the Supreme Court on display that day? And did Mr. Scalia entertain it?

The Arlington Diocese needs to post this audio. It is now newsworthy. It is potentially a conflict. Perhaps even a major one.

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