Thursday, 17 November 2016

Criticism over Trump's potential anti-gay Supreme Court pick

On Sunday, in an interview with 60 Minutes on CBS, President Elect Donald Trump said his administration would not touch the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage. He said it was the law and it wouldn't be touched, but with that in mind, one has to wonder what he's thinking in terms of his potential Supreme Court judge pick.

William H. Pryor Jr wrote a legal brief when he was Attorney General for Alabama in 2003, in which he defended a Texan law that criminalised consensual gay sex, the law was later struck down by none other than the Supreme Court.

The law was struck down after campaigners argued it was a violation of an individual's right to privacy. Personally I think it should have been struck down because it's utterly ridiculous, but we all know how crazy the United States can be. The decision meant it struck down all sodomy laws in the 13 states that still had them on the statute book at that time in 2003.

In the past Mr. Pryor has compared it to polygamy, incest, paedophilia, prostitution and adultery, adding that the Alabama court had "never recognised the right to engage in sexual activity outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage, let alone to engage in homosexual sodomy".

At the time Pryor also said that Texas was not alone in concluding that homosexual sodomy may have "severe physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences", which is completely bizarre if you ask me, I think what Mr Pryor was trying to say was "I am a homophobe", which requires a lot less time and effort.

He claimed that homosexual sodomy had not been recognised as a right in the United States and was historically recognised as wrong and not a fundamental right.

Pryor currently sits on the US Appeals Court for the Eleventh Circuit, which presides over Alabama, Georgia and Florida. He also opposes abortion even in cases of rape and describes it as "murder".

With this in mind I think Mr Trump needs to really evaluate his choices if he wants LGBT people to believe he means what he says, when he says same sex marriage won't be messed with and that minorities have nothing to fear, when he is even considering making such an appointment. A man with Mr Pryor's clear prejudice has no place in the Supreme Court or any court if you ask me.

If Pryor is appointed I think a skeptical LGBT community will become even more skeptical about Mr Trump's intentions.

Elsewhere in other DJT news the US Director of National Defence James Clapper has resigned and the Trump transition team has reportedly had discussions with Russia in relation to the situation in Syria.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will be the first foreign leader to meet the President Elect since his win last week. The pair will meet face to face amidst concern on the Japanese side that the bonds of trust between the nations could be at risk.

Leaving Tokyo Mr Abe said he intended to focus the talks on the future of the "Japan-US Alliance", and seek clarification from Mr Trump about comments he made during the campaign over a possible reduction in the numbers of US troops stationed in Japan.

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