Clarence Thomas’s jaw-dropping gay marriage dissent: ‘Slaves did not lose their dignity.’

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas invoked the spectre of slavery in his dissent to today’s monumental Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriage nationwide. Thomas joined Justices Roberts, Scalia, and Alito in his dissent, but it was Clarence’s opinion that struck the most offensive tone.


A large portion of Thomas’s argument focused on what he described as the inappropriate comparison between the robbing of “dignity” from gay people to that of other historically marginalized groups.

“The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government,” Thomas wrote in his dissent. “Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved.”

The Bush-appointed Justice went on to further compare the conversation pertaining to the rights of LGBT people to that of Japanese Americans detained during World War II.”

“Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them,” Thomas wrote. “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.”