The Human Rights Campaign Expresses Disappointment with Senate Vote to Confirm Anti-Gay Judge

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON - Today the Senate voted to confirm Leslie Southwick to the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. The Human Rights Campaign opposed this nomination due to Southwick's record on equal rights. As a Mississippi judge, Southwick participated in a decision removing an 8-year-old child from the biological mother due in part to the mother's sexual orientation. He joined an opinion stating that homosexuality was a "choice" and that losing a child was a possible consequence.

"The Senate has a solemn duty under our Constitution to confirm only fair-minded individuals for lifetime appointments to the federal bench," said HRC president Joe Solmonese. "A nominee who so callously disregarded the rights of GLBT families clearly cannot be trusted to safeguard the rights of any American. This vote for Leslie Southwick is a vote against the dignity and safety of our families, and an insult to the millions of dedicated GLBT parents raising happy and healthy children across this country."

From the beginning, the Human Rights Campaign issued Action Alerts to its members and supporters urging they express their opposition to the nomination. On May 23, Allison Herwitt, Legislative Director for HRC, sent a letter to Senate members asking they oppose the nomination of Southwick. HRC sent a second letter Monday, October 22, urging Senate members to vote no on the cloture motion in the nomination process.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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