Right's Objections to Potential Justices Reveal Anti-Gay Bigotry

Among the attacks launched by right-wing leaders against potential nominees for the Supreme Court have been suggestions that an openly gay Supreme Court Justice would be unacceptable. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan responded with the following statement:

"Some of the brilliant legal minds on the publicly reported list of potential nominees belong to women who publicly identify themselves as lesbians. Religious Right leaders have called them unacceptable — and some Republican Senators have failed to call that kind of open discrimination unacceptable.

"It’s become fashionable in recent years for right-wing leaders to deny that they harbor anti-gay bigotry even as they work to deny equality to LGBT Americans and vilify equality advocates as enemies of faith and freedom. They try to make their prejudice sound reasonable and appeal to Americans' sense of fairness with statements claiming that freedom from discrimination and protections from violent hate crimes are 'special rights.' But the possibility of an openly gay Supreme Court Justice has brought their true feelings to the surface. These leaders are doing no less than demanding anti-gay discrimination.

"So let’s be clear. Opposing a Supreme Court nominee because of his or her sexual orientation is inappropriate and unacceptable. To claim that a gay person could not rule fairly on a case involving legal and constitutional protections for gay people is no different from saying that a Christian judge could not rule fairly on cases involving religious liberty, or that an Hispanic judge could not apply the law fairly in cases involving racial discrimination. It is bigotry, pure and simple.

"Every American has a right to share their opinions. But people who argue that someone should be excluded from public service because they are gay are distancing themselves from core constitutional principles and the American public’s strong opposition to discrimination."

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