HRC reaffirms opposition to Pickering

BY Advocate.com Editors

January 09 2003 12:00 AM ET

Washington, D.C.-based gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign on Wednesday reaffirmed its opposition to Mississippi judge Charles Pickering's nomination to the fifth circuit court of appeals.

In a Wednesday press release, HRC said Pickering's career has been punctuated by racial divisiveness and that he also has publicly shared antigay sentiments.

"Past behavior is usually the greatest indicator of future behavior, and Pickering's past has included highly disturbing racial overtones that make him an unusually unacceptable nominee," said HRC political director Winnie Stachelberg. "We proudly join our friends in the civil rights community in opposing this nomination, and we adamantly urge Bush to reconsider this poor choice for a crucial judicial circuit."

In a speech before the 1984 Mississippi Southern Baptist Convention, Pickering lumped homosexuality with other social problems, according to The Clarion Ledger, a Jackson, Miss., newspaper. "We as Southern Baptists should lead the way in strengthening
traditional moral values," he said, adding that society has been degraded by such things as pornography, homosexuality, and divorce, according to the paper.

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