Judicial nominee says homosexuality is "wrong"

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 03 2003 12:00 AM ET

Alabama attorney general Bill Pryor, a nominee for a federal judgeship, filed a Supreme Court brief
comparing homosexual acts to "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia." The friend-of-the-court brief filed by Pryor, nominated by President Bush to the 11th circuit court of appeals in Atlanta, brings to mind recent comments about the same Texas sodomy case made by U.S. senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), in which he compared homosexuality to bigamy and incest. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will consider Pryor's nomination, called the brief "another red flag for a nominee who is starting out with a troubling record. It's hard to believe that, in the entire state of Alabama, the Administration can't find a conservative to nominate who isn't out of the mainstream and doesn't make incendiary comments."

In his brief, filed February 18, Pryor wrote that the Texas statute under challenge forbids only homosexual acts, not orientation. He argued that the Constitution protects orientation but not homosexual acts, which he contends are "historically recognized as a wrong." Pryor's nomination already was under scrutiny because of his outspoken opposition to abortion rights. But some of his fiercest opponents have predicted he won't be challenged as aggressively as some other nominees, partly because he has strong local support, including that of several civil rights leaders.