NGLTF Resolution on Death Penalty

February 09, 1999


1. The death penalty in the United States does not act as a deterrent to crime;

2. The death penalty is disproportionately applied to poor people and people of color;

3. The death penalty does not improve a criminal justice system that is plagued with inequities and discrimination against poor people, people of color, and other marginalized groups;

4. At least seventy-five people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence;

5. Imposition of the death penalty will not reduce the number or severity of hate crimes against members of the GLBT community;

6. There is no conflict between support of hate crime laws, which serve purposes of education and deterrence, and opposition to the death penalty;

7. Imposition of the death penalty is state-sponsored violence, and, rather than ending violence, perpetuates it;

8. The death penalty is considered a fundamental human rights violation under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

9. Imposition of the death penalty undermines the humanity and dignity of all people;

10. Prosecutors in the states of Wyoming and Texas are pursuing the death penalty against the alleged killers of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd;

11. There are alternative criminal sanctions to the death penalty that reflect the severity of crimes against Matthew Shepard, James Byrd, and other victims of violence;

12. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force does not want the interests of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in protecting its members from acts of violence to be cited as support for the death penalty; and

13. Imposition of the death penalty is inconsistent with the mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,


That the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force opposes the use of the death penalty as a criminal sanction.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.