Democrat will testify against Trump’s anti-LGBT Attorney General nominee
Trump’s nominee for Attorney General is facing a tough confirmation battle, with a Democratic lawmaker vowing to testify against him in an unprecedented move due to his anti-LGBT record.
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.
While serving as Alabama attorney general in 1996, Sessions attempted to ban gay and lesbian groups from meeting at the state university.
This week he faces a tough confirmation battle, with the Human Rights Campaign submitting a report to Members of Congress detailing “Jeff Sessions’ alarming record on LGBTQ equality”, noting that he “has spent a lifetime in public service devoted to proudly denying equality and justice for LGBTQ people” and has taken a “stand against equality for LGBTQ Americans in nearly every form”.
Democratic Senator Cory Booker, a fierce champion of LGBT equality, has announced that he will testify against Sessions’ confirmation in an unprecedented move.
He said: “I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague, but the immense powers of the attorney general combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience.
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“Senator Sessions’ decades-long record is concerning in a number of ways, from his opposition to bipartisan criminal justice reform to his views on bipartisan drug policy reform, from his efforts earlier in his career to deny citizens voting rights to his criticism of the Voting Rights Act, from his failure to defend the civil rights of women, minorities, and LGBT Americans to his opposition to commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform.”
President Chad Griffin said: “Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General has never been shy about showing animus toward all types of Americans – LGBTQ people, women, people of color, and immigrants – to name a few.
“Trump’s decision to appoint Sessions for this position is yet another chilling sign that Donald Trump’s administration will stand proudly against equality for LGBTQ Americans.
“The American people deserve to know about the anti-equality records of Trump’s cabinet picks – and we at the Human Rights Campaign will be holding them to account.”
In a prepared statement, Sessions incredibly claims he “understands” LGBT people.
He wrote: “You can be absolutely sure that I understand the immense responsibility I would have. I am not naïve. I know the threat that our rising crime and addiction rates pose to the health and safety of our country.
“I know the threat of terrorism. I deeply understand the history of civil rights and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters.
“I have witnessed it. I understand the demands for justice and fairness made by the LGBT community. I understand the lifelong scars born by women who are victims of assault and abuse.”