Sunday, December 18, 2005

Feud breaks out between gay groups over Alito nomination

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According to an article published by the Southern Voice, a small but noticable feud has broken out amongst gay groups over Bush's new pick for the Supreme Court. Several major LGBT rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, fear that Alito may be hostile to privacy rights, the issue which finally struck down sodomy laws via Lawrence v. Texas (2003). The head of the Log Cabin Republicans, however, challenged the groups by accusing them of applying an 'ideological' litmus test on Alito when they did not do the same to two Court nominations made by Clinton. According to the article:
Patrick Guerriero, Log Cabin’s executive director, said the gay and AIDS groups and their liberal advocacy allies are opposing Alito on ideological grounds, despite his recognized skills as a lawyer and his demonstrated knowledge of constitutional law. Guerriero said many of the gay and non-gay groups opposing Alito on ideological grounds called on Senate Republicans to put aside ideological issues when Clinton nominated Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993 and Stephen G. Breyer in 1994. Ginsburg and Breyer were considered liberal-to-moderate jurists with records supporting civil rights cases. “Our angle on this is the rules applied for justices nominated by Republican presidents should not be any different than those nominated by Democratic presidents,” Guerriero said.
===== As you can see, simple political games are again making their way through LGBT groups. The more liberal groups are siding with the Democrats while groups like the Log Cabin Republicans are taking more conservative stands. I think all of the groups need to stop bickering. Patrick Guerriero needs to stop playing games and accusing his fellow LGBT citizens, activists and lobbyists of things which they may not necessarily be doing. With as many problems as there are concerning the state of LGBT rights in this country, all of the LGBT rights and lobbying groups need to stop fighting each other and work together. Now is the time for solidarity and collaborative action, not bickering and feuding. Get over your egos people. Technorati Tags: , , , , ,


I agree with your sentiments - the groups need to do a better job at presenting a unified front, but they often don't. At the same time, Patrick Guerriero has a valid point. In HRC's announcement of opposition to Alito, they mentioned as justification that "He is far to the right of Justice O’Connor on due process rights and reproductive choice." I don't quite see how reproductive choice fits in with LGBT issues - rather, it seems to be a nod to pro-choice groups. Though I happen to be pro-choice, I don't think that it has anything to do with what HRC, as a non-partisan LGBT rights group, is taking stands on. It shouldn't even be a consideration.

Part of the larger problem, is that many LGBT groups, like the NGLTF, are set on building a liberal alliance to the exclusion of moderates or conservatives who may support equality. This leaves little role for groups like the Log Cabin Republicans, who are justifiably upset by the trend. Equality won't be achieved by only reaching out to those that are most supportive - this is where organizations like the Log Cabin Republicans can be of the most use, but they won't be if the LGBT community always seeks to marginalize them.