Tuesday night, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia attended a dinner in honor of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, The Advocate reported yesterday. The dinner was hosted by the Urban Family Council, which has sued to stop the city of Philadelphia from registering same-sex “life partners.”
Federal judges are barred from raising money for political, civic or charitable organizations, or permitting the use of the prestige of their office for that purpose; the Urban Family Council says that the $150-per-plate dinner was not a fundraiser, and that the ticket price would only cover the cost of the banquet. The Advocate notes that the event, for which about 125 guests were expected, was closed to reporters.
The council’s founder, William Devlin, was quoted:
We just thought, what better way to honor Cardinal Bevilacqua than to have a sitting Supreme Court justice up to speak? It’s nice to be able to say you have a friend like Justice Scalia.
Indeed. Especially when, as in this case, that “friend” just happens to have heard and presumably soon will be issuing a ruling on the challenge to Texas’s sodomy laws for same-sex couples. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me; but what can we really expect from one of the five that handed the unelected Bush the U.S. presidency?
And you may remember Cardinal Bevilacqua–whom the Justice was honoring on Tuesday–from his statement in April, 2002 calling homosexuality “an aberration [and] a moral evil,” and confirming that the Philadelphia archdiocese screens seminary applicants for homosexuality because “we feel a person who is homosexual-oriented is not a suitable candidate for the priesthood even if he had never committed any homosexual act.”