Answer by Shulamit Widawsky:
Rather than recognizing the decision as an issue of freedom and equal rights for a set of Americans who have been grievously discriminated against, by not being allowed the right to marriage, Scalia has focused on the fact that until now, this question was handled by legislators at the state level. Therefore, he is claiming that taking this decision away from legislators proves that such decisions are a threat to democracy.
One is left wondering if he would have said the same, when the court ruled unanimously in 1964 that they did have a right to enact prohibitions on discrimination (see:)
Scalia is trying to maintain that prohibiting same sex marriage is a legislative, not discrimination issue. He is wrong.
Here is an excerpt of a key passage from Scalia’s decion:
I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.
The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrangements it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, from tax treatment to rights of inheritance.
Those civil consequences—and the public approval that conferring the name of marriage evidences—can perhaps have adverse social effects, but no more adverse than the effects of many other controversial laws. So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.
Question posted on Quora.com 6/26/2015