WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – As the Supreme Court prepares to rule this week on the legality of federal and state bans on same-sex “marriage,” Justice Antonin Scalia has said there is no “right to homosexual conduct” granted by the United States Constitution.

Scalia, 77, told an audience of lawyers and judges at the North Carolina Bar Association Friday that matters of morality should be decided by the public, not unelected judges who set themselves up as “moral arbiters.”

According to Scalia, moral issues such as gay marriage have no “scientifically demonstrable right answer” and thus have no business being decided by the court.  Instead, society must determine as a whole what they deem moral and acceptable and make laws that reflect that.

Scalia made his point with humor, joking that as a judge, “I accept for the sake of argument, for example, that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.”  But, he quickly added, “Rather, I am questioning the propriety, the sanity of having a value-laden decision such as this made for the entire society by unelected judges.”

Scalia, a 1986 appointee of President Reagan and now the longest-sitting member of the high court, has long maintained a strictly originalist view of the Constitution, insisting that it must be interpreted through the lens of its authors’ intentions.  He once told an audience at Southern Methodist University that far from being a “living document,” the Constitution is, “dead, dead, dead.”  On Friday, he told the North Carolina lawyers that judges who find rights to “homosexual conduct” or abortion in the Constitution are in error.

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“When the Constitution was adopted, all those acts were criminal throughout the United States and remained so for several centuries,” said Scalia.  In particular, he cited “laws against private consensual sodomy … that existed in perfect conformity with the Constitution for over 200 years.”

He slammed the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion as an egregious example of judicial moralizing he believes was rooted in a flawed vision of the Constitution as a living document.

He expressed a similar sentiment in a 2011 interview with California Lawyer, saying “You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law.”

“That’s what democracy is all about,” added Scalia. “It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.”