It is a bad comparison but at least the guy is honest.
"We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy." -Reagan
I think he is trying to make an appeal to moral intuition. He is guessing that we know that it is right to have "moral feelings" about something like murder.
He is correct in that assumption - we all know that murder is wrong. The question is, do we have a right to make that judgement about murderers?
Intuitively, most people would say "yes."
What gives us that right?
This is Scalia's point, I believe, and it's an interesting one. I don't have the answer. Whatever gives us that right may or may not be transferrable to other questions, such as homosexuality.
The thing that strikes me the most about this is that it is an uncharacteristically sloppy dodge of the real issue by Scalia. (My own view of the man is that he is very bright, but sometimes wrong on important issues.) The people can have moral feelings against anything and everything, but when those feelings are put into law, those laws must comport with the Constitution. The best argument against gay rights being constitutionalized is the simple strict constructionist/historical one. (I do not agree with it because I think it reads the history incorrectly, but at least the arguments can withstand logical analysis. ) When you start heading into silly territory like ignoring the fact that murder does harm to another individual, you start to reveal your irrational prejudices. (And in this area, Scalia actually is quite bigoted, so his remarks do not surprise me.)
A misleading thread title seeing as Scalia did not in fact compare homosexuality to murder, he simply mentioned the two in close context as an appeal to extremes (ala Santorum). It was however a surprisingly piss poor choice of words and delivery on his part, and will likely be ridiculed in the same manner. On a side note, those who have dismissed Scalia as a complete dummy, or any Supreme Court Justice for that matter, need a reality check.
The reason is obvious to anybody with a thought in his head. "Moral feelings" should never be embodied into law if the sole purpose is bias and discrimination against a group of people who aren't harming any body. Murders, in contrast, harm people, so our moral feelings coincide with a positive case for protecting society and its members.
See the difference now? Basically, Scalia is saying, if people have moral feelings about black folk being inferior, then it's OK to pass laws that discriminate againt them.
That's how intellectuall bankrupt the man is.