Just when activists thought the gay rights movement was bouncing back from recent defeats, the U.S. Senate confirmed former Alabama Attorney General William H. Pryor Jr. to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by a vote of 53 to 45. Pryor is known for defending sodomy laws and supporting anti-gay marriage and anti-gay adoption legislation.
Here's what a few of the leading national gay rights organizations had to say about Pryor's appointment:
Human Rights Campaign
The American people deserve justice, not prejudice. We thank senators from both parties who stood with us and the civil rights community and we will continue to advocate for fair-minded judges and against radical nominees who would roll back basic civil rights. With judges like Pryor on the courts of appeal, the Supreme Court is more important than ever. Anyone who lets their own personal prejudices shape their decisions from the bench poses a threat to the rights of all Americans
-HRC President Joe Solmonese
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"Pryor has repeatedly proven he is an ideological tyrant of the highest order. Pryor's extremist views may resonate with the outer fringes, but they have no place on the federal bench. This is an American travesty."
Foreman said Pryor had compiled a "mind-boggling record of hostility toward the rights of ordinary Americans, and may be the most demonstrably anti-gay judge ever nominated to a federal appeals court."
-Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
According the the HRC, more than More than 175 national groups opposed Pryors appointment, including the Log Cabin Republicans, Lambda Legal, the NAACP, NARAL Pro-Choice America, People for the American Way, the Sierra Club and World Association of Persons With Disabilities.
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