Clarence Thomas Under Fire for Invoking Slavery in Dissent to Ruling on Gay Marriage

Lynette Holloway
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2008
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday invoked examples of slavery and internment camps in his ardent dissent in response to the court’s 5-4 decision that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

The dissent (pdf) takes issue with the use of the concepts of “liberty” and “dignity,” saying that the petitioners in Obergefell v. Hodges were not deprived of their liberty because they have been allowed to travel and settle freely without government interference, notes Business Insider.

“The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government,” he writes. “Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”


Some social media users were not pleased with Thomas’ dissent and took him to task on Twitter:

Read more at Business Insider.

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