Thursday, November 17, 2016

The LGBTQ Community is Afraid of William Pryor. Who is William Pryor?

Someone named William Pryor is currently on the short list for President Elect Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. This is, admittedly, the first time I've heard of this man, so I did a little digging trying to find out who he was. A quick Google search reveals that the LGBTQ folks are up in arms over the mere possibility of this man becoming a Supreme Court Justice, so I decided to find out why. Here's what I found:

Gay advocacy site The Gaily Grind has claimed that Judge Pryor believes gays should be jailed simply for...being gay. Looking a little further into the matter, I discovered that their idea that this man wants such a thing is because of a legal brief in which Judge Pryor wrote that there is no fundamental right to homosexual sex, and that he upheld a Texas anti-sodomy law on that basis.

Lambdalegal.com also believes this to be the reason Pryor is unfit to judge, but offers nothing tangible other than that single legal brief and the anti-sodomy law that was, I found out, struck down by the Supreme Court ruing on Lawrence v. Texas. The actual quote provided in regards to said sodomy law, however, reveals a different story:

"Petitioners' protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, 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," Brief of the States of Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent, Lawrence v. Texas, No. 02-102

An objective observer can see from that quote alone that Judge Pryor is not saying that homosexuals should be jailed for for simply existing, as The Gaily Grind's headline and article claim. Rather, a more objective look at the quote tells us that Judge Pryor is saying simply that in order for the argument of a constitutional right to homosexual behavior to hold water, we must also apply that logic to other sexual activities such as the above listed in the quote. In order for a statement to be logically sound, it has to hold up in more than just one instance, and the idea of a constitutional right to be gay means that there also has to be a constitutional right to those, and a host of other behaviors for which there exists no inherent constitutional right.

I would have used a different list of behaviors, honestly, but the argument is still sound, and has nothing to do with jailing anyone. In fact further looking into the linked Wikipedia entry at the beginning of this post, it seems that above all, Pryor puts the written law above personal feelings, just as a judge is supposed to do. The following quote sums it up rather nicely:

Pryor received national attention in 2003 when he called for the removal of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had disobeyed a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building. Pryor said that although he agreed with the propriety of displaying the Ten Commandments in a courthouse, he was bound to follow the court order and uphold the rule of law. Pryor personally prosecuted Moore for violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed Moore from office.[5]

Hardly the attitude of an anti-gay theocrat tyrant, wouldn't you say?

In fact, the only sites I see decrying the possible appointment of Pryor are severely biased left-wing  and pro-LGBT sites such as Advocate, Gaily Grind, Pinknews, and others. To me, this smacks of simple fear mongering and paranoia over the unknown. There is no evidence anywhere that I know of, whether verbal or written, to suggest that the claim is true. More evidence to suggest that fears over William Pryor are unjustified can be found in the supposed "story" of William Pryor posing for a gay magazine a couple of decades ago. Well, Snopes has a few things to say about that