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Trump’s Attorney General tried to ban LGBT groups

Nick Duffy December 2, 2016

Trump’s Attorney General nominee tried to ban gay and lesbian groups from meeting at a university, it has emerged.

The President-elect nominated the conservative Alabama Senator for the role earlier this month, putting him in line to replace the Obama officials who filed briefs supporting equal marriage.

Sessions is known as one of the most conservative and anti-LGBT members of Congress, holding a 0 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard on LGBT rights. He fought vocally against equal marriage and discrimination protections for LGBT people, and opposed lifting the ban on openly gay people serving in the military.

However, the extreme homophobic root of Sessions’ beliefs are now becoming clear.

A CNN KFile investigation this week revealed that while serving as Alabama attorney general in 1996, Sessions launched a public campaign to prevent a gay and lesbian conference at the University of Alabama.

Sessions used his role to try and block Southeastern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Conference from taking place at the University of Alabama in 1996.

The event included a workshop on coming out, an interfaith panel and a discussion on preventing STDs.

However legal records show that Sessions tried to block the meeting under a 1992 state law, that banned the “promotion” of “actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws”.

Sessions said at the time: “I intend to do everything I can to stop that conference.

“The Legislature gave serious thought to trying to craft a statute that passed muster, and I believe that my responsibility is to defend the laws of the Legislature.”

Sessions tried to obtain a court order to block the meeting – only for the state’s law to be found unconstitutional.

The event went ahead with increased security and little protest.

Cathy Lopez Wessel, a conference organiser told CNN: “It was probably better attended than it would have been. So, in some ways what they did backfired.

“What really struck me was that this seemed clearly to be about free speech and peaceable assembly.

“I feel like Jeff Sessions used the full power of his office position to deny a student group the right to have a conference.”

 

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said: “As the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Alabama, Jeff Sessions unconscionably targeted LGBTQ students to deny them their First Amendment rights.

“The job of the U.S. Attorney General is to ensure and protect the freedom of all Americans. Senator Sessions is unfit to serve.

“As a senator, Sessions earned a perfect 0 on our Congressional Scorecard, and he voted against hate crimes protections, against open military service and against marriage rights. Now we learn he’s attacked the rights of LGBTQ students.

“Nobody with such a clear record against equal rights for so many Americans should be entrusted with running the very system of justice designed to protect us all.”

More: attorney general, Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, US, US Election 2016, US Presidential election 2016

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