Press

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., urges Congress to reject Southwick nomination to U.S. Court of Appeals

Date: 
August 06, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Cell) 917.704.6358
rsklar@theTaskForce.org

"It would be unconscionable for Congress to confirm Leslie Southwick to a lifetime seat on the federal bench."
— Matt Foreman, Executive Director,
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc. is urging the United States Senate to reject the nomination of Leslie Southwick to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Senate Judiciary Committee last week voted 10–9 to send the nomination to the full Senate for consideration, which it is expected to do following the August recess.

In 2001, Southwick joined an egregious concurrence in a custody case that asserts that sexual orientation is a choice and an individual who makes that choice must accept the negative consequences, including loss of custody of an individual's biological child.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.

"It would be unconscionable for Congress to confirm Leslie Southwick to a lifetime seat on the federal bench. The fact that this nomination has gotten this far is an outrage, given Southwick's highly troubling civil rights record.

"On Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein joined Republicans on the committee to send the nomination to the floor. Congressional Republicans have recently asserted that all controversial matters should require 60 votes. This nomination clearly constitutes such a controversy. A nominee to the federal bench bears the burden of demonstrating a commitment to rigorously enforce the principles of equal protection and due process for all Americans. Southwick's judicial record makes clear that he cannot meet that burden. It also makes clear that the individual and equal protection rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families would be in real jeopardy if he is confirmed.

"As this nomination moves to the full Senate, we urge all members to vote 'no.'"

–30–

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc. (“NGLTF, Inc.”), founded in 1974, works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. NGLTF, Inc., is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to NGLTF, Inc., are not tax-deductible.