Post submitted by Rob Flaherty, former HRC Rapid Response Press Secretary
Today HRC strongly rebuked the opening statement by Senator Jeff Sessions, President-elect Trump’s pick for Attorney General, who has a long record of anti-LGBTQ lawmaking. Sessions’ statement includes: "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."
Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, responded:
"If past is prologue, Jeff Sessions understands the LGBTQ community in the way a bulldozer understands a building. Who does he think will believe that? Jeff Sessions is unfit to serve as Attorney General, and we oppose him in the strongest terms possible."
For more, check out HRC’s report: Jeff Sessions: A History of Anti-LGBTQ Actions, which includes details about his extensitve history of anti-LGBTQ lawmaking, including:
- Jeff Sessions has repeatedly supported laws that criminalize LGBTQ activity, using discriminatory laws to harrass LGBTQ Alabamans in the 70’s and blasting the Lawrence v. Texas decision, which finally ended the criminalization of same-sex relationships.
- Jeff Sessions supported “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and believed it was “pretty effective.”
- On marriage, Sessions co-sponsored and voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, saying he would seek “again and again” to pass an amendment to the United States Constitution prohibiting marriage equality. Of the 2015 Obergefell ruling, Sessions said it “goes beyond what I consider to be the realm of reality”
- Jeff Sessions has repeatedly opposed hate crimes protections for LGBTQ Americans -- even attempting to insert a poison pill amendment to try to sink the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
- Jeff Sessions has actively attempted to block some of the most effective methods of preventing HIV and other STIs--specifically safer sex education.
- Jeff Sessions once tried to terminate the National Endowment for the Arts based on its financial support for a lesbian filmmaker.