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Anti-LGBTI Jeff Sessions confirmed as US attorney general

Human Rights Campaign gives him a rating of 0% on LGBTI rights

Anti-LGBTI Jeff Sessions confirmed as US attorney general
US Senator Jeff Sessions during confirmation hearing for attorney general.

The US Senate has voted 52-47 to confirm the controversial Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as US attorney general.

The vote on Wednesday (8 February) largely fell along party lines after a bitter battle by Democrats to derail the nomination.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the lone Democrat to vote for confirmation.

The confirmation of Sessions by a Republican-led Senate was quickly blasted by LGBTI and other civil rights organizations.

Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest US non-profit legal organization working for LGBTI rights, called it a ‘travesty.’

‘The chief lawyer of the United States is now someone who has devoted his whole life to obstructing civil rights,’ said Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven.

‘He is a life-long opponent of the civil rights of LGBT people, people of color, women and immigrants. Sadly, we have no confidence in his commitment to enforcing the law and protecting the civil rights of everyone in this country.

‘The Republican-led Senate may have disregarded Sessions’ troubling track record, but we know it all too well,’ Tiven added.

‘Jeff Sessions is a dire threat to our civil rights. He is an opponent of marriage equality and a dogged foe of immigrants and refugees – even LGBT people fleeing persecution. I have personally seen him be rude and dismissive toward LGBT families.’

As a US senator, Sessions opposed all major bills bringing equal rights for the LGBTI community.

He voted in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would’ve seen an amendment added into the constitution to define marriage between a man and a woman.

In 2015, shortly after marriage equality was made a constitutional right, Sessions called the ruling wrong and said same-sex couples could just ‘call themselves married’ without having legal recognition.

In the past he twice voted against an amendment to include sexual orientation in the definition of hate crimes and wanted to end special funding for businesses running by minorities and women.

Sessions also opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which forced LGBTIs serving in the US military to remain in the closet or risk losing their jobs.

This year also marks 30 years since he was denied a federal judgeship because he was, as the Huffington Post reported, deemed ‘too racist’.

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