The antigay bias that permeates the Republican Party can be clearly seen in Bush’s judicial appointments. Among the unalloyed homophobes Bush has nominated for the federal bench:
JAY BYBEE: US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit: As attorney for the Defense Department (in a case involving higher security clearances for gay military contractors than for nongay ones), Bybee argued that gays and lesbians were “emotionally unstable.”
MICHAEL McCONNELL, US Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit: As lead attorney for the Boy Scouts of America, McConnell argued that the Scouts’ exclusion of gays was comparable to its policy of excluding alcoholics and substance abusers.
CHARLES PICKERING, US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit: Pickering has said, “We as Southern Baptists should lead the way in strengthening traditional moral values,” and that society has been degraded by such things as pornography, divorce and homosexuality.
TIM TYMKOVICH, US Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit: As Colorado’s Solicitor General, he vigorously argued before the Supreme Court in favor of the state’s Amendment 2, prohibiting localities from enacting laws against antigay discrimination. He wrote that homosexuality was “contra bonos mores, i.e., immoral,” and compared same-sex love to “sadomasochism, cockfighting, bestiality, suicide, drug use, prostitution, and sodomy.” The Court, in the landmark Romer v. Evans (1996) case, overruled him.
CLAUDE ALLEN, US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit: As Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary, Allen was the bête noire of AIDS service organizations, having led a witch hunt threatening to cut their funding after some of their members staged a noisy demonstration on Bush’s AIDS policies during his boss Tommy Thompson’s speech at the Barcelona International AIDS Conference last year. As Virginia’s health commissioner, Allen cooked up a no-condoms, abstinence-only AIDS plan in cahoots with the religious right. And as a former top aide to Jesse Helms, Allen alleged that Helms’s 1984 opponent, Governor Jim Hunt, had links “with the queers.”
MIKE MOSSMAN, US District Court for Oregon: As a young conservative clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Mossman lobbied him successfully to change his vote in Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) and uphold Georgia’s sodomy law in a case involving two men arrested in a private home for consensual sex. This landmark decision stigmatized gays for a decade (Powell later said he regretted changing his vote).
BILL PRYOR, US Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit: As Alabama Attorney General, Pryor filed a brief in the Texas sodomy case in favor of the law, arguing that a constitutional right that protects the choice of one’s partner and “‘whether and how to connect sexually’ must logically extend to activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia.” (Senate Democrats succeeded in forcing withdrawal of Pryor’s name by threatening a filibuster.)