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Trump nominates new attorney general who discriminates against people with HIV

Trump nominates new attorney general who discriminates against people with HIV

William Barr, former and potentially new Attorney General

Donald Trump on Friday (7 December) nominated William Barr as the new Attorney General of the United States.

Trump had to nominate a new AG after Jeff Sessions resigned a month ago at the ‘request’ of the president. During Sessions’ time as AG, he implemented numerous policies harmful to the LGBTI community.

If the Senate approves Barr’s nomination and confirms him, the community may continue to suffer.

Barr previously served as the US Attorney General under the late President George H.W. Bush.

Barr on the issues

On numerous issues, Barr takes a more conservative approach.

He has specifically advocated for discriminatory policies against people living with HIV.

In 1991, he successfully challenged the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule allowing people with HIV/AIDS into the US. He also wanted to use Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and other refugees living with HIV from claiming asylum in the country.

On the topic of abortion, which does not apply only to cisgender and straight women, Barr said he believes the right to privacy does not extend to abortion in his first confirmation hearing.

Further, Barr also believes in a broad definition of presidential power.

What are the reactions to Barr’s nomination?

ACLU national political director Faiz Shakir said of the choice: ‘William Barr’s record suggests that he will follow Jeff Sessions’ legacy of hostility to civil rights and civil liberties.

‘If confirmed, Trump will have a partner in one of the most powerful roles of the administration, and someone who defended the president’s decision to fire James Comey.’

David Stacy, the Director of Government Affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, also expressed worry over the nominee.

‘From his views around HIV/AIDS during his tenure as attorney general to his more recent writing promoting extreme views around religious exemptions, William Barr looks ill suited to be our country’s top law enforcement officer,’ he said.

‘The Senate has a solemn responsibility to advise and consent on this important nomination and his troubling views on LGBTQ equality and the law must be thoroughly vetted.’

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