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Jeff Sessions: Senate career of one of US’s most anti-LGBT+ politicians may finally be over

Jeff Sessions: Senate career of one of US’s most anti-LGBT+ politicians may finally be over

  • Donald Trump has actually done the LGBT+ community a favor – although obviously not on purpose.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence swearing in Jeff Sessions.

The US Senate career of viciously anti-LGBT+ Republican Jeff Sessions may finally be over – thanks to Donald Trump.

Sessions, Trump’s former attorney general, has failed to win the Republican nomination for his former US Senate seat representing Alabama.

Instead Trump’s preferred candidate Tommy Tuberville won 60.7% of the vote to Sessions’ 39.3%. All of the polling stations have now reported.

Tuberville will now face the sitting Democrat Senator Doug Jones – an LGBT+ ally – in November.

The defeat may finally end Sessions’ political career which has spread untold misery to LGBT+ Americans.

Sessions’ anti-LGBT+ track record

Indeed, Sessions has spent his entire career fighting LGBTI rights.

He has voted against nationwide protections for LGBTI people. And in 2013 he tried to stop the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 from including a provision about gender identity and sexual orientation.

Moreover he is apparently ‘not sure women or people with different sexual orientations face that kind of discrimination’.

‘I just don’t see it,’ he explained.

Sessions also voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Furthermore, he was a co-sponsor of the ‘religious freedom’ bill that would allow businesses to openly discriminate against LGBTI people.

He also voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act – that was the law which expanded the federal definition of hate crimes to protect people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, and disability.

Moreover, he voted against repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ – the policy which prevented openly LGBT+ people serving in the US armed forces. 

When same-sex marriage was voted in nationwide, he said they ‘goes beyond what I consider to be the realm of reality’.

Sessions used his Senate position to try to amend the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. He also spoke out against the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling.

Meanwhile he has also stirred controversy on race, apparently sympathising with the Ku Klux Klan. Sessions claims a positive remark he made about the KKK was a joke.

The Human Rights Campaign have repeatedly rated him as zero on equality.

How and LGBT+ ally won in Alabama

Sessions held his Alabama Senate seat from 1997 to 2017. But he resigned from the Senate in order to serve President Trump as his first attorney general.

However, he recused himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This infuriated Trump and Sessions resigned in November 2018, after less than two years as his attorney general.

Meanwhile his former Senate seat had made headlines in the LGBT+ world too.

The special election to replace him in 2017 saw Democrat Doug Jones go head-to-head with Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

That gave Alabamans a choice between Mooore, a fierce opponent of LGBT+ rights and Jones, who has a gay son.

Moore lost after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Meanwhile Jones is famous as the prosecutor who successfully led a case against two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls.

The next battleground: Tuberville v Jones

So Jones will take on Trump’s choice – Tuberville – in November’s elections.

As an LGBT+ ally and Democrat, he is vulnerable in conservative Alabama. He was the first Democrat to win a US Senate seat in the state since 1992. And he secured the election with a margin of just 1.63% (21,924 votes) over Moore.

Therefore November’s election for the seat will be another battleground between an LGBT+ supporter and a right-wing Christian conservative.

Tuberville doesn’t have the same anti-LGBT+ track record as Sessions or Moore, however.

The former American football coach even says he has known gay players who came out after their careers ended.

Nevertheless he has also spoken against drag queens taking part in a parade last Christmas. At the time he posted on social media:

‘Hard to believe that right in my own backyard the city of Opelika allows drag queens in the city Christmas Parade which was held this weekend. What is next?’

Despite this he is a right-winger who supports the Second Amendment right to have guns. He has also backed Trump’s Mexican border wall.