The Task Force denounces U.S. Senate confirmation of William Pryor Jr. to the federal bench

Thursday, June 9, 2005

The Task Force denounces U.S. Senate confirmation of William Pryor Jr. to the federal bench

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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force denounces U.S. Senate confirmation of William Pryor Jr. to the federal bench

'Pryor has repeatedly proven he is an ideological tyrant of the highest order' — Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman

WASHINGTON, June 9 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force denounced the U.S. Senate's confirmation today of former Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

"Pryor has repeatedly proven he is an ideological tyrant of the highest order," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "Pryor's extremist views may resonate with the outer fringes, but they have no place on the federal bench. This is an American travesty."

Foreman said Pryor had compiled a "mind-boggling record of hostility toward the rights of ordinary Americans, and may be the most demonstrably anti-gay judge ever nominated to a federal appeals court." A few examples:

  • In his capacity as deputy attorney general of Alabama, Pryor co-authored an amicus brief supporting Colorado's anti-gay ballot initiative in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Romer v. Evans.

  • As Alabama attorney general, Pryor wrote an amicus brief defending Texas' anti-gay sodomy law in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas. Pryor sought to deny gay people equal protection under the law, including upholding the imprisonment of gay men and lesbians for expressing their human sexuality in the privacy of their own homes.

  • While temporarily sitting on the Eleventh Circuit via a recess appointment by President George W. Bush, Pryor cast the deciding vote upholding Florida's ban on adoption by gay men and lesbians.

  • Pryor calls the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade as "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history."

"It is widely recognized that Pryor is a right-wing zealot who is unfit to judge," said Foreman. "His hostility toward a vast range of Americans and fundamental rights and freedoms is as astounding as it is disturbing."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement?s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.