White House, Falwell Consultation Ignores Americans' Desire For Consensus

The New York Times recently revealed that White House
officials have sought out advice on a Supreme Court nominee from Rev.
Jerry Falwell, one of the most divisive far-right figures in America
today.

"Anti-gay extremists are trying to gain a stranglehold on
government," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
"Americans want their leaders to come together, not engage in divisive
political fights over the next Supreme Court Justice."

Following the September 11 attacks on the United States, Falwell
laid blame on gays and lesbians – along with feminists, civil rights
advocates and others – for causing the tragedy. "I point the finger in
their face and say 'you helped this happen,'" he said.

The news of Falwell's consultation with the White House comes a
day after Jay Sekulow, leader of Pat Robertson's American Center for Law
and Justice urged the President to reject calls for consensus and
nominate a hard-line conservative. ACLJ founder Robertson joined
Falwell in his hateful comments after September 11.

"The far-right is willing to abandon civility in order to get a
nominee who satisfies their narrow interests," said Solmonese. "The
President is not filling a vacancy in a far-right political group but on
our nation's highest court. America deserves a nominee who believes in
justice for all Americans, not someone beholden to a fringe ideological
agenda."

Falwell has a long history of anti-GLBT rhetoric. He was quoted
in Cox News Service last year saying, "AIDS is not just God's punishment
for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates
homosexuals."

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