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'Justice Sunday' Attacks Gays But Soft-Peddles Rob


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'Justice Sunday' Attacks Gays But Soft-Peddles Roberts

by Doreen Brandt 365Gay.com Washington Bureau

Posted: August 15, 2005 1:00 pm ET

(Washington) The second in a series of satellite broadcasts to conservative churches across the country on Sunday was long on attacks on gays and "activist judges" but conspicuously short on mentions of President Bush's choice for the Supreme Court.

The event, organized by the Family Research Council of Washington, D.C., featured House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, former Georgia Senator Zell Miller and Focus on the Family Chairman Dr. James Dobson.

Speakers urged Christians to pray to God for deliverance from liberal judges. They denounced Supreme Court rulings on gay rights, religious expression, and abortion.

"Disguising prejudice as justice is un-American," said Human Rights Ccampaign President Joe Solmonese. "The extremism on display last night dangerously ignored the Court's more than 200-year-old responsibility of independence. In rallying against this liberty, the speakers last night rallied against one of our democracy's greatest qualities."

Although the broadcast originally had been set up to promote Judge John Roberts' confirmation to the high court, none of last night's speakers explicitly called for Roberts to be placed on the high court.

The closest reference came from Miller who urged people of faith to "cover this confirmation process with a blanket of prayer." Dobson said he prays that Senate Democrats won't be able to turn the hearings "into a circus."

The broadcast had been set up to push Roberts' confirmation. But, that was before many conservative groups became "alarmed" over revelations that Roberts had offered free legal advice to an LGBT group that ultimately won a landmark 1996 gay civil rights case at the Supreme Court. (story) Following closely was the disclosure Roberts also lent a hand in 1999 preparing Playboy representatives for oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

Last week, Public Advocate, a conservative Virginia-based "national pro-family group", withdrew its support of Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court. (story)

Other conservative groups have not gone so far but several, including the organizers of Sunday's event, have been vocal in raising "concerns" Roberts may be too liberal in his views.

Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group fighting LGBT rights in several states, said Roberts' involvement in the gay case is "something to certainly be concerned about." Focus on the Family also is "raising alarm bells." (story)

But, while conservative pull back on their support for Judge Roberts, LGBT civil rights groups are equally concerned.

"All this shows is that Roberts is a good lawyer. It has nothing to do with his ideology," NGLTF executive director Matt Foreman said of the1996 gay rights case last week. (story) "

Michael Adams, director of education at Lambda Legal, said that "It poses as many questions as answers."

Senate confirmation hearings for Roberts are set to begin Sept. 6.

©365Gay.com 2005


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