Eric Holder and the LGBT Community

With the backing of the civil rights community -- and a stellar record on gay rights -- Eric Holder is immensely qualified for the critical position of Attorney General.

BY Joe Solmonese

January 27 2009 12:00 AM ET

The Human Rights
Campaign supports Eric Holder not only for those obvious
reasons, but for his demonstrated commitment to combating
hate-motivated violence against the LGBT community. In
1999, when he was Deputy Attorney General, Holder
testified before the U.S. House in support of hate crimes
legislation. He understood that the murders of Matthew
Shepard, Billy Jack Gaither and James Byrd were
examples of a dire problem that required a federal
solution, including a federal hate crimes law.

It would stand to
reason that his qualifications, coupled with such deep
and broad support, would have provided Holder a warm
reception in the Senate. Yet, almost as soon as he was
chosen, attacks were launched and not just on his
record, but on his character. We have since learned that
Holder's nomination will be used as a political test run for
opposing President Obama’s legislative
priorities and judicial appointments.

Some Republican
senators are flexing their muscles with Holder, showing
us all what might lie ahead. In fact, the master of
division, the one and only Karl Rove, has even weighed
in the confirmation battle. And just this past
Wednesday, Republican senators forced a week-long delay in
Holder’s confirmation vote by the Senate Judiciary
Committee.

With the Justice
Department struggling to recover from eight years of
mismanagement and the enormous challenges facing our
country, now is not the time to play politics. As a
civil rights community, we must demonstrate that we
will not allow justice to be delayed or denied for one
more moment. Justice knows no party and does not bend to
ideology, but it must be served. The LGBT community
must make its voice heard and support Eric Holder, who
is not only a superb nominee but someone who has stood
with us. Now, it's time for us to stand with him.

 

Tags: Politics

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