Task Force, Inc., outraged by Senate confirmation of Leslie Southwick to U.S. Court of Appeals

October 25, 2007

Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., expresses outrage over the Senate’s confirmation of Leslie Southwick to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Senate approved the nomination yesterday by a 59–38 vote.

Included in his pattern of disturbing rulings on issues ranging from consumer rights to racism in the workplace, Southwick joined an egregious concurrence in 2001 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 is unconscionable that a Democratic-controlled Senate, by an overwhelming majority, would confirm a judge with such a troubling civil rights record to a lifetime seat on the federal bench.

"A nominee to the federal bench bears the burden of demonstrating a commitment to rigorously enforcing 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 are seriously threatened due to this confirmation.

"We are deeply disappointed by members of the Senate who supported this unacceptable nomination, and applaud those who attempted to prevent this egregious confirmation.” 


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.