Press

Task Force denounces unequal treatment in Craig and Vitter scandals

Date: 
August 29, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358
rsklar@thetaskforce.org

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 —  Senate Republican leaders are calling for an ethics investigation into the Minneapolis airport arrest of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) in a “lewd conduct” incident in a men’s public restroom. No such call was sounded by Senate GOP leaders following the scandal involving Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who last month admitted to “a very serious sin in my past” after his telephone number appeared among those associated with a female escort service operated by the so-called “D.C. Madam.”  Vitter even reportedly received “thunderous applause” from Senate GOP colleagues during a policy lunch held a few days after his admission.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, meanwhile, has filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee asking for an investigation into whether Craig violated the Senate rules of conduct. The group had filed a similar complaint in the Vitter case, but says the Ethics Committee did not respond to that request.

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

“Let’s see — one Republican senator is involved in soliciting sex from a man and the Republican leadership calls for a Senate investigation and yanks the rug from underneath him. Another Republican senator admits to soliciting the services of a female prostitute and there’s not only no investigation but the senator is greeted with a standing ovation by his Republican peers. What explains the starkly different responses? I’d say rank and homophobic hypocrisy.”

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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.