Metro Weekly

SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch’s mentor compared homosexuality to bestiality

Prof. John Finnis has written about "the evil of homosexual conduct"

Professor John Finnis, Photo: Oxford University / YouTube

“A life involving homosexual conduct is bad even for anyone unfortunate enough to have innate or quasi innate homosexual inclinations.”

Professor John Finnis, a renowned Catholic scholar at Oxford University and one-time mentor of Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, in an academic paper from 1994.

Gorsuch studied under Finnis while working towards his PhD at Oxford, The Guardian reports. In 2011, he called Finnis one of the “great scholars” of the university, saying his period at the institution was “a time when legal giants roamed among Oxford’s spires.”

Gorsuch also thanked Finnis in his 2006 book The Future of Assisted Suicide, acknowledging his “kind support through draft after draft.”

Finnis has a long history of opposing homosexuality, even comparing it to bestiality in 1993, after Colorado’s solicitor general asked him to help defend the state’s constitutional amendment that prevented LGB people from being protected from discrimination.

He argued that sex between two people of the same sex “treats human sexual capacities in a way that is deeply hostile to the self-understanding of those…who are willing to commit themselves to real marriage.”

“Copulation of humans with animals is repudiated because it treats human sexual activity and satisfaction as something appropriately sought in a manner that, like the coupling of animals, is divorced from the expressing of an intelligible common good,” his brief stated, “and so treats human bodily life, in one of its most intense activities, as merely animal. The deliberate genital coupling of persons of the same sex is repudiated for a very similar reason.”

Finnis’ writings were also included in amicus briefs supporting California’s anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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