The US Justice Department has appointed Kerri Kupec, who worked for a listed anti-LGBT hate group, to a senior role.
Kerri Kupec was this week appointed director of the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice, as part of a reshuffle following the November 7 ousting of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The new senior DOJ spokesperson has a poor LGBT record, having been employed until January by listed anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.
Kerri Kupec argued in favour of anti-LGBT discrimination
Kupec, who has a degree from the fundamentalist Liberty University, represented Alliance Defending Freedom at an anti-LGBT rally in November 2017 where she said religious business owners should be free to discriminate against the LGBT+ community.
The activist said business owners “should not be forced to create messages for events that violate their faith, their conscience, and who they are.”
Kupec added that “the belief that marriage is a man-woman union has been held since the beginning of time,” before claiming that enforcing discrimination laws would “drive out” Christians, Muslims and Jewish people from the public square.
The ADF is a shadowy ultra-conservative body that has brought several cases seeking to undermine LGBT+ anti-discrimination protections across the US.
The group most notably represented anti-LGBT baker Jack Phillips to advance the argument that religious freedom gives Christian business owners the right to discriminate against gay customers.
Extremism watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center ascribes the hate group label to Alliance Defending Freedom, noting that the group has actively supported the criminalisation of homosexuality in Belize.
ADF leaders have previously linked homosexuality and paedophilia.
US government remained close to anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom
However, Kupec has attacked the “hate group” label, describing the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “radically left-wing, violence-inciting organisation” in a July 2017 appearance on Fox News
She said: “We advocate for all people of faith to be able to live out their conscience and faith without the threat of government punishment.”
Under Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department maintained close relations with the ADF, frequently weighing in on court battles in support of the group’s lawsuits, and filing a brief to the Supreme Court supporting Phillips.
US Solicitor General Noel Francisco delivered oral arguments as part of the baker’s defence on behalf of the Trump administration.
Francisco appeared to answer in the affirmative when Justice Anthony Kennedy asked if the baker could “put a sign in his window [saying] ‘we do not bake cakes for gay weddings.”
Francisco said: “Your Honor, I think that he could say he does not make custom-made wedding cakes for gay weddings, but most cakes would not cross that threshold.”