“Shame, Shame, Shame” Justice Alito’s Wife Faces Backlash Over Anti-Pride Flag Comments

 “Shame, Shame, Shame” Justice Alito’s Wife Faces Backlash Over Anti-Pride Flag Comments

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann Alito, has come under fire following an undercover recording where she complained about her neighbor’s Pride flags and expressed her eagerness for her husband to retire so she could escalate her criticisms.

This controversy follows reports of the Alitos displaying pro-Trump and Christian nationalist symbols on their properties, even while Justice Alito was involved in efforts to challenge the certification of Trump’s election loss in Pennsylvania, told Vanity Fair.

“I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag,” she told a woman posing as a Catholic conservative, “because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month,” wrote New York Times columnist Anna Marks. “Tellingly, in the surreptitiously recorded conversation, she even fantasized about creating her own fiery flag with the word ‘vergogna’ (‘shame’ in Italian) so she could say to her neighbors, ‘Shame, shame, shame, on you.’ Apparently, for Ms. Alito, the second great commandment, to love thy neighbor, applies only until the neighbor is proud enough to sport rainbows. Then vergogna!”

Marks continued, “To be honest, these comments aren’t particularly surprising. Ms. Alito is the wife of a justice who agreed that the country needs to return to ‘a place of godliness’ and has argued that the court’s 2014 ruling on marriage equality restricts the free speech rights of religious conservatives. (If that’s really true, somebody should tell her to zip it before she’s jailed for her words.)”

Marks further criticized Ms. Alito’s comments as part of a broader campaign by the religious right to erase or shame queer culture from public view. “The only thing mildly revealing about Ms. Alito’s comments is that they signal it is still socially acceptable for religious conservatives to demean the queer community in supposedly polite company.”

Marks highlighted the importance of the Pride flag in the face of rising attempts to restrict expressions of queer identity. “In the face of a rise in attempts to restrict cultural expressions of queer identity, the rainbow is still one of the best tools we have to collectively repudiate those who wish we were ashamed to be alive. We must wave it proudly,” wrote Marks. “As for you, Martha-Ann, I say happy Pride Month! I’ll be praying for you.”

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