Over 60 national, state and local advocacy organizations, representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and everyone living with HIV, are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to postpone any further activity pertaining to Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination until they are able to conduct a thorough investigation of the sexual assault allegations made against him.

 

In a letter delivered to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday, the 61 organizations urged the committee to ensure a fair and appropriate investigation take place regarding the detailed and credible allegations of sexual assault made by Professor Christine Blasey Ford. They also highlighted that moving ahead on such an artificially expedited schedule will do lasting and irreparable damage to the legitimacy of not only the United States Senate but the Supreme Court as well.

 

Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director, issued the following statement:

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“Nearly twenty-seven years ago, Anita Hill was vilified for coming forward to tell her story. History must not repeat itself in 2018. Dr. Ford must be treated with the dignity and respect that was not afforded to Ms. Hill.

 

“The deeply disturbing allegations demand a thorough investigation.  We are pleased that a number of Senators from both parties have recognized that the Senate has an obligation to the country to delay any further consideration of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court until such an investigation can take place.  This should not be a partisan issue.  At this moment, Republicans and Democrats – men and women alike – have an opportunity to do more than just talk about their commitment to taking issues of sexual assault seriously.  Now is their opportunity to take concrete action to back up those words.

 

“This nomination process has already been tainted by the failure to disclose key information in Brett Kavanaugh’s record, and by the nominee’s apparent inability to provide truthful testimony under oath about his prior actions and his views on issues of critical importance to millions of people.  Moving ahead with this nomination before these serious allegations can be investigated will do lasting and irreparable damage to the credibility of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate.  It is not too late, but in order to avoid this catastrophic outcome, men and women in the Senate must put integrity and principle above partisanship.”

 

Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund said: 

 

"It took courage for Professor Christine Blasey Ford to publicly come forward with her accusations of physical and sexual assault at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Cavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge. While the #Metoo movement has shed light on the high prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault attacks, telling your story is never easy. The severe backlash that is already underway against Ford is a stark reminder of the treatment Professor Anita Hill endured almost 30 years ago."

 

Carey also called on Senate leaders to act: "This country already has a self-admitted sexual assault perpetrator sitting in the White House. Chairman Grassley and Majority Leader McConnell must exercise due diligence to ensure a perpetrator is not seated on the Supreme Court. If Senate leadership fails to postpone the vote and take the time to fully investigate the nominee's actions, their gross disregard for women and survivors will be undeniable.

 

Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign added:

 

“Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is brave to come forward with her story, and she must be treated with respect and dignity. Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination process has been anything but transparent, and now with this grave charge of sexual assault, this process must be halted immediately. Moving forward with this confirmation process without conducting a thorough investigation would be deeply troubling and offensive to the American people, but more importantly to survivors of sex crimes across the country. It would communicate their trauma isn’t worthy of justice if a person sitting on the nation’s highest court can be confirmed without being investigated for alleged sexual violence.”

 

Last month, the HRC joined coalition partners in calling for the release of hundreds of thousands of documents related to Kavanaugh’s career in a bid for transparency on a lifetime appointment that would affect all Americans, especially LGBTQ people. This concern was exacerbated by Brett Kavanaugh’s refusal to answer basic questions about LGBTQ rights and reproductive health care during his confirmation hearings.

 

HRC released a comprehensive report on the threats Brett Kavanaugh poses to LGBTQ people. This was followed by the release of videos featuring Lillian, a young transgender woman in Alaska, and Laura, a resident of Maine and mother of a transgender son, Jack; both videos focus on the threats to the safety and dignity of LGBTQ people by this nomination. HRC has also mobilized more than 20,000 calls to the Senate demanding Kavanaugh be held accountable on views regarding LGBTQ people.

 

From non-discrimination protections to health care to LGBTQ military service, Kavanaugh is a nominee clearly hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ organizations to undermine the progress for equality.

 

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