Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed that a how-to-discriminate legal guide is coming soon.
Right-wing news site The Federalist has published a transcript of a secretive speech given off camera by Sessions in which he confirms that President Trump has ‘”directed me to issue guidance on how to apply religious liberty protections.” Sessions stated the guide is being drafted and the Department of Justice, “will soon issue it.”
The Sessions speech was presented to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a deceptive name for an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The ADF has a long history of filing lawsuits that aim to strike down LGBTQ rights.
In the speech, Sessions also reaffirmed Trump is, “an unwavering defender of religious liberty.” This religious pandering, included a vow to, “help with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” wherein the DOJ would exploit the policy of this act that requires a compelling reason for any burden placed on religious beliefs.
The religious protection guide looks to be part of a calculated plan to return the balance of power to religious institutions, including a plan to pass the First Amendment Defense Act, sponsored by Sessions, which would allow businesses to refuse business to LGBTQ people, as well as unmarried couples and single mothers.
Many progressive and LGBTQ rights groups were alarmed that Sessions would address a known, vehement opponent of queer rights, but were stunned by the secrecy and level of animosity of the meeting. Senior vice president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), JoDee Winterhof said of Sessions, “A month ago, he vowed to protect transgender women from violent attacks and now we find him promoting license to discriminate laws. This (guide) is another predictable step for the anti-LGBTQ Trump-Pence Administration.”
Stephen Colbert skewered the behind closed doors meeting on The Late Show saying, “Come on, guys it’s 2017. It’s ok to come out. Let your hate flag fly. You’re here, you fear, we’re used to it.” Later Colbert used a Keebler elf cookie as a stand in for Sessions.