Once again we are seeing the possible unmasking of a virulently homophobic Republican. This time, however, it's not a GOP elected official but instead a federal judge in Alabama. William Pryor does seem to fit the usual mold: married, "devout Catholic," ultra-far right, and anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-minority. Indeed, he seems cut from the same cloth as Rick Santorum and Ken Cuccinelli. A piece on Pryor during the time period a decade ago when he was being considered for the federal bench described him this way:
He holds the ignominious honor of being the only attorney general to file a brief attacking the Violence Against Women Act. Ever the defender of prudish virtue, Pryor threw himself into a defense of Alabama’s Dildo Law, which forbade the sale of vibrators. Dredging deep into the recesses of Federalist Society legal theory, Pryor argued that there is no right to privacy in Alabama and that the state had the authority to outlaw any kind of pleasure devices it wanted, even when accompanied by a doctor’s prescription. Naturally, Pryor is unwilling to apply the same legal mumbo jumbo to assault weapons.
His homophobic sentiments rival those of Senator Rick Santorum, the famously anti-gay Republican from Pennsylvania. In an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in the Texas same-sex sodomy case, Pryor urged the court to uphold the ban. "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." Santorum and Pryor must have attended the same Christian Coalition prayer breakfast.
Hence, that Pryor may have a gay porn past is just way too delicious (Ken Cuccinelli must be freaking out given the gay rumors I've heard about him). Stories are exploding on the Internet, but here are highlights from Instinct Magazine that correctly notes that Mr. Pryor could be in big trouble if he lied to the FBI while being vetted for the federal bench. (Two of my former law partners are federal judges and the FBI does extensive research on nominees' background under oath). The Bilerico Project also has fun coverage. Here are highlights:
The Alabama Bureau of Investigations (ABI) is looking into images that appeared on then-popular gay porn site Badpuppy.com in the '90s. Reportedly working on a few tips, the ABI is concerned that the full-frontal images feature federal circuit Judge Bill Pryor. If the ABI confirms that the images are in fact those of the conservative Bush-appointee, there is a chance Pryor could be indicted for falsifying his background during his Congressional confirmation hearings.According to LegalSchnauzer, Congress commonly asks federal judicial appointees about "potentially embarrassing or compromising information in their backgrounds." Sources indicate that Pryor was aware the pics were public on the gay site (which was dubbed the "Wal Mart of gay porn") in 1997, a few years ahead of his appointment.Pryor reportedly posed for the shots while he was a student at Northeast Louisiana University from 1980 - 1984, and sources indicate that the porn appeared in print during that time before finding new life on the Internet in the '90s.
But that's not the juicy part.
Judge Pryor is a notoriously staunch right wing conservative. Though he was cool with gay guys ogling his fully erect, full frontal naked self, he's not cool with gays and lesbians walking the streets as free people. According to People for the American Way, Judge Pryor "would deny gay men and lesbians the equal protection of the laws. He believes that it is constitutional to imprison gay men and lesbians for expressing their sexuality in the privacy of their own homes and has voluntarily filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court urging the Court to uphold a Texas law that criminalizes such private consensual activity."Of course, Pryor insists the pictures are not him, though apparently, a republican colleague in Alabama was quick to confirm that they are. "Holy cow, that's Bill Pryor!" he said.
Pryor denies he did porn in college and the investigation is ongoing, so take it all with a grain of salt. But do you think these pics are of Judge Pryor?