WeHo Council Members Split on Whether to Honor Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia

The two gay lawyers with seats on West Hollywood’s City Council took different stands last night on the issue of Antonin Scalia.

John Heilman, projected compensation $29,242.
John Heilman

Councilmember John Heilman asked the Council to “adjourn” in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court justice. Such “adjournments” are a formal way for the City Council to express respect for someone.

“He certainly was not known to be a friend of our community in many respects,” Heilman said of the conservative justice, who was known for expressing revulsion about same-sex behavior. “In fairness he did cast the fifth vote in our favor in the marriage equality case out of California,” Heilman said, noting “he didn’t do it on the grounds of marriage equality. He did it on the grounds of standing. He also was, in fairness to him, he was a passionate advocate in terms of privacy rights. Certainly he will be missed on the Supreme Court and hopefully President Obama will appoint somebody whose views are much closer to ours.”

Councilmember John Duran was the only one to vote against Heilman’s request for adjournment.

“I think it’s possible for me to have political disagreements with somebody who identifies on the conservative right,” Duran said. “But

John Duran
John Duran

Anton Scalia was beyond that. This was the justice that showed extreme hostility to immigrants. This is the justice that, on the issue of affirmative action, said that maybe blacks should maybe just go to colleges that weren’t so fast for them so they could compete. And on the issue of LGBT people, in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas. he compared gay men and lesbians to acts of bestiality. And in the Romer decision in Colorado, he compared us to polygamists and murderers …This is a man who showed great contempt for minorities, but especially the LGBT community ….

“He was a very intelligent man, and he had great wit. And he could have used that intelligence and wit to lift people out of oppression. But instead he gleefully sought to use that intelligence and wit to oppress people, treat them with disdain and vilify the LGBT community for all these years on the Supreme Court.

“So I take no pleasure in his death. But I feel nothing. Like the passing of Ron Reagan, I feel nothing. I cannot adjourn in the name of somebody who treated my LGBT community so poorly for so long.”

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Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
5 years ago

If one has read several of the late Justice Scalia, any rational gay, liberal or justice, the outright hostile and derogatory formal opinions/dissents, would be truly offended and would feel normal sadness for his family’s loss, but to make any public display about his loss IS A PERSONAL opinion and offends me the City would take a stand about a Highly Controversial Justice. Everyone should make their desire to Pay Formal Respect …. FOR THEMSELVES (and I bet we could squeeze a few into the anti-gay section in the gay pride parade where the HATE GAY crowd is place, and… Read more »

guyprivaton
5 years ago

bravo to heilman

guyprivaton
5 years ago

Some of the comments here are despicable. Duran “just like the passing of RR I feel nothing” etc Imagine if this were a dead liberal judge and a conservative council saying the same things, we would never hear the end of it!

Some proponents of “tolerance” and “equality” are ironically the most intolerant of other peoples views and the first to remove giving equal honor, respect, etc to those of whom they disagree. Complete hypocrites.

You support tolerance by being tolerant and equality by treating people equally. It is not dependent on whether you agree with their political views.

Voice of Reason
Voice of Reason
5 years ago

The City Council fixates on non issues like this in order to avoid doing anything about crime, crackheads, the homeless, making SM Blvd safe for pedestrians, acknowledging SM Blvd is “Route 66”, a highway, for cars, that predates Weho by a century. The City Council has always been useless! Weho should be part of L.A., not a fiefdom for a few well connected pols.

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
5 years ago

An additional thought, best expressed by The Brad:”…The evil that men do lives after them. The good oft interred with their bones.”

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
5 years ago

When Mitch McConnell said he would do everything to prevent any procedure in Congress to consider a nominee from Obama for the recently vacated SCOTUS seat, he drove the final political nail into the coffin of the third leg of our governmental form. For at least four decades the Judicial arm, our Supreme Court, has been politicized by those who have forget how our governing bodies are supposed to act – essentially, they are supposed to be separate and equal. John Heilman’s request for adjournment to honor Scalia was entirely proper to honor one who served his country and the… Read more »

robert
robert
5 years ago

Mr. Heilman, You sound like you might suffer from gay self loathing. Scalia did more to oppress us than anyone in the history of the world and you want to praise him? you’re lucky to even be on the City Council. Half of the voters didn’t want you there. So this is how you pay us back by asking us promote a hater like scalia? get on with the business of the city. it is none of the business of West Hollywood. scalias death was the best thing that could have happened for our country which is on the progressive… Read more »

Lynn
Lynn
5 years ago

If Justice Ginsberg could find common ground with Juatice Scalia and have a respectful relationship despite their differences perhaps our community could find less strident avenues as well. After all, one can always persuade another to change their opinion but if there is no communication, there is no hope.

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
5 years ago

Jim, I would prefer council first and foremost stick to the business of running this city. Once they feel they’ve mastered that they can adjourn for other matters all night long if you ask me.

“Greenie”, are you ever going to run out of aliases?

Showbiz Lady
Showbiz Lady
5 years ago

@Greenie, your response reminds me of the ending of the wonderful song from a Chorus Line when Morales sings “Nothing.” At the end she learns the mean acting teacher passed away and sings: “Six months later I heard that Karp had died And I dug right down to the bottom of my soul And cried ’cause I felt nothing I mean I didn’t want him to die or anything But . . . .” I’m not sure if people are aware, but an adjournment request is usually followed by a letter from the City Clerk saying: “The Council is sorry… Read more »

Greenie
Greenie
5 years ago

Thank you Councilmember Duran. I agree and feel “nothing.” @Rudolf: Yes, the City is making an exceptional use of their time when they adjourn in the memory of our citizens at home or across the country and the world. One of West Hollywood’s finest traditions. It is the height of disrespect, as you state, “city council discussing whether or not they should adjourn for THIS OR THAT?’ American citizens hold this homage close to their heart and to those personally impacted by adjournment are given a special healing grace. This may not apply elsewhere, but is a time honored tradition… Read more »

Daniel Cacho
Daniel Cacho
5 years ago

Anybody who describes Antonin Scalia as a “fine American” has to be on drugs. Either that or they have been hit in the head with a large brick. That’s All.

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