Open letter opposing Pryor nomination

May 10, 2005 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

Dear Senator:

Log Cabin Republicans, on behalf of our nationwide grassroots membership, writes to oppose the nomination of William Pryor to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Mr. Pryor received a recess appointment to that court on February 20, 2004. This temporary appointment expires at the end of 2005, and we strongly oppose his receiving a lifetime appointment. Log Cabin Republicans urge you to vote "no" on any motion to confirm Mr. Pryor.

It is incredibly rare for our organization to oppose a Republican judicial nomination. Mr. Pryor's record, however, is so out of step with mainstream Republican values and contemporary jurisprudence that Log Cabin is compelled to forcefully oppose his nomination.

William Pryor has gone out of his way to oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans. He authored an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court defending Texas's discriminatory statute, and in particular a state's interest in singling out same-sex relationships for punishment, even though his own state's statute made no distinction between same and opposite-sex relationships. Pryor's brief compared same-sex relationships to pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia. The Court rejected Mr. Pryor's argument that gay and lesbian Americans may be branded as criminals because some in a state disapprove of them. In Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Anthony Kennedy – who was appointed by President Reagan – dismissed as "demeaning" the arguments that Mr. Pryor made before the Court. Mr. Pryor advances a jurisprudence that is profoundly out of step with American legal thinking.

Mr. Pryor's actions in his capacity as a temporary judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit have validated fears that he would not uphold the basic rights of gay and lesbian Americans. On July 22, 2004, he voted against rehearing, en banc, the case of Lofton v. Kearney, in which Florida foster parents challenged a discriminatory law preventing them from adopting the child they had raised from infancy simply because they are gay. A panel of the 11th Circuit upheld the ban, and the court voted, 6-6, to deny en banc rehearing on July 22. This is an example of the lasting damage that Mr. Pryor's presence on the bench can and will do to gay and lesbian Americans.

For these reasons we strongly oppose Mr. Pryor's re-nomination, and urge you to vote against his lifetime appointment to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Chris Barron on my staff at [redacted].


Patrick Guerriero, President
Log Cabin Republicans