On February 14th, The Human Rights Campaign strongly urged the Senate
not to confirm William Pryor's nomination for a lifetime appointment to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Time and
again in his career, he has gone out of his way to oppose equal rights
for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. William Pryor
is one of only six judges out of roughly 200 nominated by President Bush
that HRC has opposed.
"William Pryor's record is so clearly a threat to individual rights and
protections, that all Americans should be concerned" said HRC Vice
President of Policy David Smith. "He has made it clear throughout his
career that he has a strong bias against GLBT Americans. This country
needs judges who make fair and balanced decisions free from any slanted
William Pryor received a recess appointment to the Eleventh Circuit
Court on February 20, 2004. This temporary appointment expires at the
end of 2005. If he is to continue his appointment, the Senate will need
to confirm his nomination.
Some of the more troubling issues on Judge Pryor's record include:
- Casting the deciding vote to uphold Florida's discriminatory
adoption ban. Florida is the only state in the country that explicitly
bans children from being adopted by their gay parents.
- As Attorney General of Alabama, he was the only attorney general
outside of Texas to author an amicus brief in the Supreme Court
defending Texas's anti-gay sodomy statute, and in particular a
state's interest in singling out same-sex relations for punishment, even
though his own state's statute made no distinction between same-and
opposite-sex relations. That same brief also compared same-sex
relationships to pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia.
- William Pryor does not respect the separation of church and
state. He used his Alabama Attorney General website to post speeches
promoting his own religious views that had no relationship to the
state's interests. He also provided links to anti-gay organizations and
other conservative groups but not to groups with a neutral or
More than 175 groups joined in opposing William Pryor's nomination –
including the Log Cabin Republicans, the NAACP, NARAL Pro-Choice
America, People for the American Way, the Sierra Club and World
Association of Persons With Disabilities. For more information, visit:
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