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Major Gay Rights Groups Announce Opposition To Rob


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Major Gay Rights Groups Announce Opposition To Roberts

by Doreen Brandt 365Gay.com Washington Bureau

Posted: August 25, 2005 11:00 am ET

(Washington) Four of the nation's largest LGBT civil rights groups Thursday officially announced their opposition to the nomination of Judge John Roberts for the US Supreme Court.

The Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays issued a joint statement calling on the Senate to reject President Bush's candidate for the court.

"Since President Bush nominated John Roberts on July 19, disturbing evidence has emerged about the kind of justice that he would be," the joint statement said. "His writings as a lawyer, his rulings as a judge, and his statements as a policymaker all lead us to the unfortunate conclusion that Judge Roberts would not vote to protect our civil rights from those who are, at this moment, fighting so hard to take them away. Instead, his record indicates that Judge Roberts would vote to roll back the constitutional protections upon which our community — and all Americans — rely."

The statement also said the groups are concerned that the Senate has had no access to many documents relating to Roberts' service as principal deputy solicitor general from 1989 to 1993. Those documents include Roberts' writings about cases involving voting rights, choice, the separation of church and state, and a number of other issues.

Although documents produced by Roberts for President Reagan have been turned over to the Justice Committee, the White House has refused to give up documents from the two Bush administrations claiming they are shielded by attorney-client privilege.

"Judge Roberts has such a narrow view of what the courts can and should do, it's a wonder he wants the job at all," said HRC president Joe Solmonese . "Ultimately, this is about an individual’s right to privacy. From women's rights to religious freedom to civil rights, there is powerful evidence that Judge Roberts would rule against equality."

NGLTF executive director Matt Foreman said that throughout his entire adult life "Roberts has been a disciple of and promoted a political and legal ideology that is antithetical to an America that embraces all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

Foreman said that Roberts has shown opposition to the constitutional rights to privacy, equal protection and due process as well as federal government's role in confronting injustice.

"I have no doubt he's an accomplished lawyer and an affable dinner companion, but that doesn't make him any less a mortal danger to equal rights for gay people, reproductive freedom and affirmation action," Foreman said.

Although every major LGBT rights organization has voiced concerns about Roberts nomination, Thursday's joint is the first officially opposing placing him on the high court.

Lambda Legal was the lone LGBT rights group not to sign the document. Lambda says it will not make a decision on Judge Roberts until after hearings are held on his nomination.

Earlier this week the group issued a series of 30 questions it believes Roberts should be asked by the committee. (story)

They include Roberts' position on the Supreme Court ruling in Romer v Evans, the landmark Equal Protection case in which Roberts worked pro bono for the gay group arguing before the court.

Another question asks Roberts' position on Lawrence v Texas, the sodomy law overturned by the Supreme Court in a ruling setting out the Right to Liberty for gays. Additionally, Lambda wants to know Roberts' stand on the Right to Privacy.

©365Gay.com 2005


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