Press

Task Force blasts self-proclaimed family values senator for blatant hypocrisy

Date: 
July 11, 2007

Media Contact:
Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358
rsklar@theTaskForce.org


WASHINGTON, July 11 — Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who has built his political career around “family values” and railed against same-sex marriage, admitted Monday night to “a very serious sin in my past” after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called “D.C. Madam.”

Vitter has admitted that he had contacted a D.C. escort service sometime before 2004, apparently while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, and yesterday, Jeanette Maier, the Canal Street madam of a high-price brothel in New Orleans, told WDSU-TV that Vitter frequented her establishment in the mid-1990s. In addition, the Shreveport Times reports that the former chair of President Bush’s Louisiana state finance organization, Boysie Bollinger, said Vitter’s relationship with prostitutes was known to insiders when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004. 

Vitter has touted himself as a “moral values” leader throughout his political career, and ardently opposed same-sex marriage, saying: “I’m a conservator who opposes radically redefining marriage, the most important social institution in human history.” Vitter has been a sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which seeks to preclude the recognition of same-sex marriage.

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

“It is the pinnacle of hypocrisy for Senator Vitter to be thundering about ‘family values’ and the ‘sanctity of marriage’ and doing everything possible to deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples while apparently paying for sex behind his wife’s back. If his wife and family want to forgive him, fine, but this far surpasses a personal transgression. He owes all Americans, particularly those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, an apology.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and 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.