Former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, said Tuesday that Antonin Scalia was a “leading advocate of fag burning.”
Frank made the outrageous comment about the late Supreme Court justice in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during a panel discussion of Donald Trump’s comments on Twitter Tuesday that people who burn the American flag should be jailed for a year and stripped of their citizenship.
The panel pointed out that Scalia, who died in February, opposed making flag burning illegal. He sided with a 5-4 majority in a 1989 landmark case that protected the act under the First Amendment.
“[Trump] cited Scalia as his favorite judge,” Frank said, adding that “I think there was a pronunciation problem.”
“Scalia was actually the leading advocate of fag burning, not flag burning. And I think that’s where he got himself a little confused.”
Matthews initially laughed at the remark but then caught himself, saying, “That’s not funny.”
A staunch conservative, Scalia sided with the minority in Obergefell v. Hodges, a 2015 case which legalized gay marriage across the U.S.