Last edited: November 08, 2003

National Stonewall Democrats Decries Republican Advancement of Anti-Gay Nominee

Specter’s Support Allows Full Vote on William Pryor Despite Democratic Efforts

National Stonewall Democrats, July 23, 2003
Contact: John Marble
(202) 625-1382

WASHINGTON, DC—National Stonewall Democrats applauded Senate Democrats today for attempting to stop a Republican-led effort to advance the judicial nomination of anti-gay Alabama Attorney General William Pryor. Pryor was nominated by President Bush to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta. The nominee has a strong history of anti-gay rhetoric and activism, and has been opposed by numerous lgbt groups. In a 10-9 party-line vote today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to place Pryor’s nomination before the full Senate—an action that Democrats had tried to avoid.

“President Bush’s nomination of Pryor is offensive,” said Dave Noble, NSD Executive Director. “Senator Specter, and his fellow Republicans, should be ashamed that they think so little of our community that they would allow this nomination to proceed.”

Pryor’s nomination would have died in committee today if not for the crucial vote of Republican Senator Arlen Specter (PA). Specter, who is often used as a model, pro-gay Republican, decided at the last minute to send the Pryor nomination to the Senate floor. Although Democrats have not announced that they will filibuster the vote, that action now appears more likely.

Pryor has compared homosexuality to pedophilia, necrophilia, prostitution, incest and adultery. Pryor has been accused of using the office of the Alabama Attorney General to attack homosexuality. He also linked his official state website to anti-gay groups. Pryor also authored a strongly-worded amicus brief in the “Lawrence and Garner v. Texas” case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In it, Pryor argued for the upholding of state sodomy laws and the jailing of those involved in same-sex relationships.

Numerous lgbt groups, including Republican organizations, have opposed the Pryor nomination. National Stonewall Democrats has been working with its local chapters to contact Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding this matter.

National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democrats, with more than 70 local chapters across the nation. NSD is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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