Acey, Executive Director of the Astraea National Lesbian Action
"The death penalty has no place in a
civil society. As a community we must take every opportunity to
speak out against violence, including capital punishment."
Executive Director of Gay Men of African Descent said:
"The death penalty is applied in an
inequitable way and when factors of race, sexual orientation and
income are taken into account, there is even more inequity. Mistakes
happen and innocent people are sentenced to death. In those circumstances
where the sentence has been carried out, the mistake cannot be
Executive Director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human
Rights Commission said:
"Human rights are not a euphemism for
gay rights. We cannot pick and choose human rights," she
added. "The death penalty is wrong in all cases."
Kevin M. Cathcart,
Executive Director of the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund
"Lambda deals daily with the legal system's
fallibility and the effects of bias on court decisions. With this
experience, we oppose the death penalty as a harsh and irreversible
use of government power."
Executive Director of the Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center
of New York said:
"This is one of those moments when we,
as a community, should lead. We consider this a teachable moment."
Burns said the death penalty is no way to deal with anti-gay violence.
"The answer to homophobic violence is not more violence,
it is education," he said.
Director of the ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project said:
"The American Civil Liberties Union opposes
the death penalty for those who murdered Matthew Sheppard just
as we oppose the death penalty for all people - because our system
of justice is incapable of imposing it equally, because our system
makes mistakes and always will and because the ACLU believes that
the state simply should not have the power to take away human
Executive Director of LLEGO - National Latina/o LGBT Organization
"Killing a homophobe will not kill homophobia."
Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights said:
"There are few facets of our criminal justice
system more deeply flawed than the death penalty. It has been
repeatedly demonstrated that rather than deterring violence or
curbing crime, the death penalty instead stands as a most extreme
example of the race and class bias which pervades much of our
Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said:
"We join our colleagues today to oppose the
death penalty with a unified voice. We participate in a social
movement that places faith in the possibility of change. Capital
punishment, a final and hopeless solution to the social problem
of violence, not only subverts the possibility of individual change
but it also fails to solve the problem of violence. Hate crimes
laws, on the other hand, recognize that classes of people become
terrorized by violent acts against individuals. Hate crime laws
draw attention to that problem and offer at least one solution:
criminal justice resources directed toward educating and deterring
the domestic terrorism of bias crime."
Executive Director of the New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence
"AVP unconditionally opposes the death penalty.
As a victim services agency dealing with the physical and psychological
aftermath of hatred against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and HIV-positive community - our community - AVP understands full
well the thirst for vengeance that heinous bias crimes often engender
in the victim, his or her loved ones, and the community at-large.
However, as a human rights organization, struggling for justice
for our people, AVP also views capital punishment as an act of
state-sanctioned violence - an act that is no more or less violent
than the barbaric acts of our attackers - and we unequivocally
oppose violence in every form, regardless of the perpetrator."
For additional information, resolutions and/or position papers
from each of the organizations regarding the death penalty, contact:
Astraea National Lesbian Action Foundation Katherine Acey (212)
Gay Men of African Descent Kevin McGruder (212) 414-9344
International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission Sydney Levy
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Peg Byron (212) 809-8585
Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center of New York Dan Willson
Lesbian & Gay Rights Project-ACLU Matt Coles (212) 549-2627
LLEGO-National Latina/o LGBT Organization M. Ornales-Quintero (202)
National Center for Lesbian Rights Kate Kendall (415) 392-6257
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Tracey Conaty (202) 332-6483
x3303 New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project Richard
Haymes (212) 714-1184
OutFront Minnesota Ann DeGroot (612) 822-0127 x107
For additional comment:
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum/Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (212) 929-9498
in 1973, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force works to
eliminate prejudice, violence and injustice against gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgendered people at the local, state and
national level. As part of a broader social justice movement
for freedom, justice and equality, NGLTF is creating a world
that respects and celebrates the diversity of human expression
and identity where all people may fully participate in society.
message was issued by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force