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February 14, 2005

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HRC Urges Senate Not to Confirm Anti-Fairness Judicial Nominee William Pryor

'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.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today strongly urged the Senate not to confirm William Pryor's nomination for a lifetime appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th 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 ideology."

William Pryor received a recess appointment to the 11th Circuit Court on Feb. 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 Pryor's record include:

ᄡ&nbspCasting 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.

ᄡ&nbspAs 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.

ᄡ&nbspWilliam 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 different viewpoint.

More than 175 groups joined in opposing 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. Find out more.

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