GLAAD Condemns William Barr Confirmation as Nation’s Next Attorney General

GLAAD CEO: “Barr’s confirmation today reminds LGBTQ Americans once again that the Trump Administration is no friend to us.”

Barr once criticized Georgetown University for allowing LGBTQ groups on campus, suggested the LGBTQ community led to America’s decline

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today condemned the U.S. Senate for confirming William Barr to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Barr was nominated by President Trump last December, and much like his predecessor Jeff Sessions, has a vicious anti-LGBTQ history – even suggesting that equality for LGBTQ Americans has “led to America’s decline.” During his Senate confirmation testimony, he defended the government’s idea to hold asylum seekers living with HIV in prison camps and hinted that LGBTQ people would not be protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should he be confirmed.

“It’s alarming and upsetting that a person citing LGBTQ people as a reason for the decline of the United States will now serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “There’s little doubt that William Barr will carry on this Administration’s ongoing efforts at rolling back the progress LGBTQ Americans have made in recent years. This confirmation today reminds us once again that the Trump Administration is no friend to us.”

For more information about William Barr, see below. Also, check out GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project that highlights anti-LGBTQ members of the Trump Administration.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: William Barr Would Continue Trump Administration’s Erasure of LGBTQ Americans

  • Delivered multiple speeches in the early ‘90s condemning the “permissiveness,” “sexual revolution” and “moral upheaval” that he insisted had led to America’s decline (More analysis of these speeches here)
  • Authored an Op-Ed praising former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for rolling back the enforcement of civil rights protections for transgender people and issuing a "religious liberty" memo claiming there’s no compelling government interest in barring anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
  • Condemned church/state separation in public schools: “This moral lobotomy of public schools has been based on extremist notions of separation of church and state or on theories of moral relativism which reject the notion that there are standards of rights or wrong to which the community can demand adherence.”
  • Insisted Georgetown University’s equal footing for LGBTQ rights groups was an attack on morality: “The second way in which secularists use law as a weapon is to pass laws that affirmatively promote the moral relativist viewpoint. Such laws seek to ratify, or put on an equal plane, conduct that previously was considered immoral...Another example was the effort to apply District of Columbia law to compel Georgetown University to treat homosexual activist groups like any other student group. This kind of law dissolves any form of moral consensus in society. There can be no consensus based on moral views in the country, only enforced neutrality.”
  • Bemoaned the attention shown to “the homosexual movement”: “It is no accident that the homosexual movement, at one or two percent of the population, gets treated with such solicitude while the Catholic population, which is over a quarter of the country, is given the back of the hand. How has that come to be?”
  • Led "a fierce struggle in which the Justice Department prevailed over public health experts" in maintaining the ban on people living with HIV entering the United States.