LeGaL Urges Senate to Reject Anti-LGBT Kyle Duncan’s Nomination to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (“LeGaL”) is urging the US Senate to oppose the confirmation of Stuart Kyle Duncan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Nevertheless, The Senate voted 50 to 44 on a cloture petition to advance the nomination and on April 24, Kyle Duncan was confirmed to the 5th Circuit in a 50–47 vote.
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Mr. Duncan is recognized as one of the nation’s leading opponents of LGBT equality. He believes that same-sex relationships are morally inferior to those of heterosexual couples, that LGBT people are not entitled to equal protection of the laws, and that court decisions providing such protections are illegitimate. While Mr. Duncan may advance these views, he certainly would not be able to provide fair and impartial justice as a federal judge.
Mr. Duncan first gained notoriety for his anti-LGBT views while in the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, where he defended the state’s refusal to issue an amended birth certificate to a Louisiana-born child who had been jointly adopted by a gay couple in New York based on the state’s public policy against recognizing same-sex relationships. Mr. Duncan later
served as General Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an organization that has taken a leading role in fighting against LGBT equality.
In 2014, Mr. Duncan left The Becket Fund to become a partner at Schaerr Duncan LLP. He relentlessly pursued litigation designed to undermine the legal recognition of same-sex couples and their families. He has become the attorney-of- choice for those seeking to ostracize transgender people from public life by limiting their ability to access restrooms in public spaces.
Mr. Duncan’s arguments were not made solely on behalf of clients in the context of specific litigation; rather, they reflected his personal beliefs about LGBT people. As such, he has demonstrated himself to be incapable of respecting constitutional precedent concerning LGBT equality. We are a nation of laws, not governed by any particular ideology claiming religious
orthodoxy, and LGBT people are entitled to expect equal justice under the law.
Mr. Duncan’s has caused real harm to LGBT people in Louisiana, and his confirmation threatens to harm all LGBT people living in the south. There are few explicit protections for LGBT rights in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Overall, Mr. Duncan’s long record of anti-LGBT equality renders him unsuitable for a lifetime appointment to a federal court of appeals. Mr. Duncan is not the kind of judge that this country want, needs, or deserves. We will continue to fight for fair courts for LGBT people.