AG Sessions speaks to anti-LGBT+ hate group
by Rob Howard
Even before then-Senator Jeff Sessions was nominated to be Attorney General, the LGBT+ community knew that he held deeply anti-LGBT views. But the news that he was addressing anti-LGBT+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) Summit on Religious Liberty today in California adds insult to injury.
ADF has long been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). It is the organization that is representing Colorado baker Jack Phillips in his US Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In that case, the ADF is asserting the baker’s right to discriminate against LGBT+ people when to serve them would violate their own religious principles.
The ADF also applauded the Trump administration’s rollback of President Barack Obama’s Justice and Education departments’ directive in May 2016 that protected transgender students.
Education Week’swebsite, in alerting readers about Sessions’ speech, wrote, “That directive told schools that they would be in violation of the Title IX prohibitions on sex discrimination if they did not recognize transgender students' gender identities in a number of areas, including pronoun usage and facilities access, or if they failed to protect students from harassment on the basis of gender identity. In rescinding the guidance, the Trump administration left it up to states and districts to interpret federal law.
“The Trump administration's move won praise from Alliance Defending Freedom, which said that President Obama left schools with ‘an impossible choice: sacrifice the dignity and privacy rights of their students by opening overnight facilities, locker rooms, and restrooms to the opposite sex; or protect those rights while watching the government strip away federal funding that schools spend on critical items like special-education programs and lunches for underprivileged children.’"
According to Towleroad.com, the SPLC was, “Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally. Despite its regular defamation of LGBT people, the group has managed to win special advisory status at the United Nations, in the European Union, and with the Organization of American States.”
Attorney General Sessions is the nation’s top law enforcement officer, and is responsible for protecting the rights of Americans. However, his positions on LGBT+ issues leave no doubt what his opinion is of rights protecting the LGBT+ community.
Among his positions, according to the Human Rights Campaign, include: repeated support of laws that criminalize LGBTQ activity, support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and opposition to hate crime protections for LGBTQ Americans.
Sessions’ speech to the ADF Summit is closed to the press, so we may never know what he says to those attending.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly – July 11, 2017.