GLAAD: Jeff Sessions’ confirmation endangers LGBTQ Americans nationwide

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, issued the following statement after the United States Senate voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as the nation’s next Attorney General.

“As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions is tasked with leading the Justice Department and advocating on behalf of all Americans, including LGBTQ people. If his discriminatory record is any indicator, workplace and hate crimes protections could be in danger – and that is a terrifying prospect for the future of equality and acceptance in America.”

BACKGROUND: Jeff Sessions Endangers LGBTQ Americans Nationwide

Votes against LGBTQ Community

2004 & 2006: Senator Sessions voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, a constitutional amendment that would have made marriage equality illegal.

2009: Voted against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

2010: Voted against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act repeal, which effectively ended the nation’s ban against allowing LGBTQ Americans to serve in the armed forces.

2013: Voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act which bans federally funded service providers from discriminating against LGBTQ victims.

2013: Voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

2015: Sessions co-sponsored the so-called State Marriage Defense Act, a bill designed to circumvent federal protections for same-sex married couples.

2015: Sessions co-sponsored the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which would allow opponents of marriage equality to discriminate against LGBTQ (or even supportive) customers and contractors.

Outrageous Actions against LGBTQ Americans

1996: As Alabama’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions reportedly fought to stop LGBTQ conference: As Alabama's attorney general in 1996, Sessions attempted to stop the Southeastern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Conference from meeting at the University of Alabama under a state law passed in 1992 that made it illegal for public universities to fund in any way a group that promotes "actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws."

1997: While attempting to defund the National Endowment of the Arts, Sessions echoed social conservative claims that "the National Endowment for the Arts showed explicit homosexual activities on the screen using a $31,000 grant."

2006: Sessions claimed the Supreme Court's ruling overturning sodomy laws "divorced morality from law."

2009: Sessions once referred to a gay sexual orientation as having "gay tendencies."

2010: In midst of the Prop 8 court hearings, Sessions condemned California federal judge for finding the state's discriminatory marriage ban to be unconstitutional, claiming he "was citing his own views, emotions and feelings" rather than the law.

2010: Sessions opposed the nomination of US Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan in large part because of what he perceived as her LGBTQ support.

2010: While opposing the nomination of a DC Superior Court judge, Sessions cited (and placed on record) letters from viciously anti-LGBTQ groups like the Traditional Values Coalition, which faulted the nominee for her "radical lesbianism, anti-marriage" views.

2015: Following the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling which granted marriage equality across the nation, Sessions implied the US Supreme Court was not allowed to find a right to marriage equality and that he might continue the fight: "...what this court did-they can't to do, nothing in the constitution for such a result no mention of marriage in the constitution,' says Sessions. It's an issue that evokes a lot of passion on both sides and may not be over."