Opposition grows to Bush nominee for appellate court
The gay political group Log Cabin Republicans is officially opposing President Bush's nomination of Alabama attorney general William Pryor to the 11th circuit U.S. court of appeals. Pryor will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. "An analysis of Mr. Pryor's work finds compelling evidence that he would be a jurist incapable of fair-minded review of matters of concern to gay and lesbian Americans," said LCR executive director Patrick Guerriero.
An amicus brief filed on behalf of the state of Alabama in the Texas sodomy case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court in which Pryor forcefully defends sodomy laws is cause for concern, Guerriero said.
"We call on members of the Senate Judiciary, Democrats and Republicans, to address Mr. Pryor's record on civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans," Guerriero said. "And we continue to urge the Bush administration to select open-minded and fair jurists to be placed on the federal bench. We believe that Mr. Pryor does not meet those criteria."
The gay rights group Human Rights Campaign has also officially stated its opposition to Pryor's nomination, noting that it has opposed only six of President Bush's more than 150 nominees to the federal bench. In his role as Alabama's attorney general, HRC notes, Pryor utilized state resources to advance his own political goals and attack gay civil rights. He is on record using mean-spirited rhetoric comparing gay relationships with incest and pedophilia and perpetuating hurtful myths. "Mr. Pryor has spent his career opposing the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Americans," said Winnie Stachelberg, political director for HRC. "We are concerned that his profound prejudice will prevent him from making clear, unbiased decisions as a federal judge, and we strongly oppose his nomination."