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Jeff Sessions criticized for addressing anti-LGBT group

Democrats and LGBT groups are criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for addressing the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian conservative group opposed to LGBT rights.

BuzzFeed News reported that Sessions' public schedule was updated on Tuesday as he was en route to California to speak at the ADF's Summit on Religious Liberty in Orange County, California. The event was closed to the press.

In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated ADF a "hate group" for its opposition to LGBT rights. The group is currently representing a Colorado baker who refused to serve a gay couple. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in the fall.

David Dinielli, the SPLC's deputy legal director, said in a statement that the SPLC on Wednesday submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Justice for the remarks given by Sessions at the event.

"We're concerned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would make a speech behind closed doors to a group that supports criminalizing homosexuality and marginalizing LGBT people around the world," Dinielli said.

"For this reason, we have filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the Department of Justice to make Mr. Sessions' remarks available promptly. The American public has a right to know what he said."

Democrats also criticized Sessions' decision to speak to the group.

"You can judge a person by the company they keep and tonight – Attorney General Jeff Sessions is choosing to spend his time speaking in front of one of the country's leading anti-LGBTQ hate groups," said Joel Kasnetz, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). "The Alliance Defending Freedom actively helped draft discriminatory legislation, worked to preserve laws criminalizing same-sex relations, and attacked the separation of church and state. ADF has been previously designated a hate group and Sessions' appearance at this event, as the top law enforcement official in the country, brings in to question whether the attorney general intends to protect all Americans."

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, added: "The nation's top lawyer rallying with an anti-LGBTQ hate group? Outrageous."
Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine
 
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