Last month, in a plea against the confirmation of Samuel A. Alito to the Supreme Court, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Joe Solmonese claimed that a glance at then-Judge’s “resume reads like an anti-gay textbook.” Actually, a glance at his resume reveals anything but. Solmonese had acknowledged as much in a November 2, 2005 press release (currently not accessible on HRC’s web-site) when he called it a “hopeful sign” that, according to the Boston Globe, the man who now sits on the Supreme Court, in 1971, “chaired a task force that recommended decriminalizing sodomy and saying discrimination against gays in hiring ‘should be forbidden.'” In November, Solmonese wisely noted that there “were very few people standing up for gay Americans 34 years ago.”
Yet, despite Alito’s early advocacy for gay rights, Solmonese twisted what The Malcontent‘s Robbie described as Alito’s “mixed record on gay rights” into a textbook portrait of an anti-gay bigot. And he wasn’t the only gay leader to do so. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Executive Director Matt Foreman called Alito’s appointment “dangerous” as his confirmation represented “a devastating blow to individual rights, civil liberties and equal justice under law in America.” Like HRC, NGLTF seems concerned that Alito’s appointment threatens the future of Roe v. Wade, the “landmark” 1973 U.S. Supreme Court preventing states from outlawing abortion which seems to be a sacred text to those on the left, including gay organizations. Indeed, the first issue the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) mentioned in its last-minute plea to block Alito’s confirmation was their claim that this good man “opposes reproductive freedom and will use his position on the court to undermine this fundamental right.”
While based on his confirmation hearings, it’s fair to draw the conclusion that now as a Supreme Court Justice, Alito would vote to overturn that sacred liberal decision, the gay groups twisted his decisions on issues affecting gays out of context so they could claim he’s anti-gay. As The Malcontent‘s Robbie put it:
There is no substantial, objective basis for gay rights groups and others to charge Justice Alito with homophobia or any other anti-gay attitudes. Instead, they must resort to cherry-picking cases in order to provide cover for their blatant Democratic partisanship.
Exactly. Gay groups opposing Alito have shown themselves more interested in carrying water for the Democrats than in serving the gay community. Since gay groups first announced their opposition to Alito’s confirmation, they have behaved as “the gay and lesbian adjuncts of a much broader left-wing movement”
Standing united with other left-wing groups in opposing this good man, they presented a dishonest portrait of the newest Justice, particularly related to his positions on gay issues. And in failing to tell the truth about this good man, they have failed the gay community. Many gay men and lesbians look up to these groups for information and advocacy on issues of concern to gay people. Instead of defining Alito as a man with, at worst, a mixed record on gay issues — and no identifiable anti-gay animus — they call him a textbook case of bigotry.