The first same sex male couple to appear in African-American lifestyle magazine Jet’s wedding announcements had harsh words for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent defense of “moral feelings” against homosexuality during an appearance on MSNBC Tuesday, but said the court’s conservative justices had a chance to do right by the Republican Party.
As the Court prepares to address cases concerning the Defense of Marriage Act, Proposition 8 and affirmative action, said Ravi Perry, Scalia and his conservative peers “have an opportunity to really redeem the Republican Party from the shellacking that they suffered in November as a result of the loss to President [Barack] Obama.”
Perry, an activist and assistant professor at Mississippi State University, married his husband, Paris Prince, in Massachusetts, where same sex nuptuals are legal. He told MSNBC’S Thomas Roberts that Scalia’s remarks to a gay Princeton University student on Monday were cause for concern.
“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? “Can we have it against other things?” Scalia said during an appearance at the school.
“To compare homosexuality to murder is inconscionable,” [sic] Perry said. “The Supreme Court has had a history of equality cases before its docket, and they’ve sometimes erred on the side of caution and has embarrassed the country.”
On the other hand, Perry pointed out, the court had done the right thing in cases like Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia, so he and his spouse hoped they would do the same in this latest series of cases.
“If the Republican-appointed justices err on the side of equality — equality before the law, equality under the law, something that was decided long ago when we ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution 147 years ago — then we will be well on our way to having a society that we can debate ideas [in], and no longer debating basic fairness,” Perry said.
Prince, who earned an MBA in Social Change at Clark University, said the couple’s groundbreaking magazine appearance is part of a larger move forward — not just for the magazine, but for the country.
“As we know, President Obama has evolved, and now we can add Jet Magazine to that,” Prince said. “The pace of that change is occurring very quickly. In fact, I think Darwin would be amazed at the evolution that’s occurring right now.”
“We are one of but a few in a long line of pioneers, I would say, who paved the way for us,” Prince said. “People like Bayard Rustin, who is one of my idols, or Harvey Milk, who are part of a movement that has toiled in isolation. And their legacy is why we no longer have our rights denied, at least in Massachusetts.”
Perry and Prince’s discussion with Roberts, aired Tuesday on MSNBC, can be seen below.