Press

‘Justice Sunday’ — Another Production By America's Anti-Gay Industry

Date: 
April 26, 2005

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

Statement from Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"Despite their best efforts, the organizers of 'Justice Sunday' could not conceal what their campaign to force the Senate to vote on extremists nominated by President Bush to the federal judiciary is really all about – their hysterical fear that gay people will secure equal rights by doing the same thing minorities in the nation have done for more than 200 years – seeking redress through the courts.

Let's all be clear: there is no difference between the leaders of America's anti-gay industry and those leading the anti-filibuster campaign. They are one in the same.

Last year, the leading organizations behind 'Justice Sunday' – Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council – organized three simulcasts to 'protect marriage' that were virtually identical to Sunday's event. The previous simulcasts even featured many of the same speakers as those on Sunday.

The focus of the prior events was on 'activist judges' and marriage for gay people. On Sunday night, it was the same thing. Each speaker railed against 'activist judges,' their code for judges who render decisions based on the law – particularly decisions concerning rights for gay people – rather than based on political ideology.

Sunday night's speakers repeatedly brought it all back to marriage. Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson, said, 'Where is this leading? Where does it go? It goes directly to the redefinition of marriage.' Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler said, 'Justice Antonin Scalia warned us. He said this [United States Supreme] [C]ourt is ready to legalize same-sex marriage.' Bill Donohue, Catholic League for Religious Civil Rights President, chimed in with, '[T]he most insane idea I've ever heard in my whole life of two men getting married, I mean, that's something I expect in the asylum!'

Americans should understand that the religious and political Right is using gay people generally, and marriage equality specifically, as the leading edge of wedge to push through a broad reactionary agenda including a rollback of civil rights protections, ending constitutional protections of a woman's right to make reproductive health decisions, and dismantling the wall separating church and state. Those who will lose if this agenda succeeds must stand together and fight because, as Benjamin Franklin said, 'We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.'"

For more of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute's analysis, see "'Justice Sunday' Was Really About Demagoguery, Homophobia, and Politics" at http://www.thetaskforce.org/jsunday. For a comprehensive chart of judicial and executive branch nominees filibusters prior to the current presidential administration, see the chart developed by the People For the American Way from Congressional Research Service data at: http://media.pfaw.org/filibusters.pdf.

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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.