Notoriously anti-gay politician Jeff Sessions has been confirmed as US attorney general.
Despite activists and groups such as the Human Rights Campaign lambasting him for his record on equal rights, the Alabama senator has officially been elected to the prestigious position with a vote of 52 in favour to 47 against.
Sessions’ record on LGBT+ rights is abysmal – he voted against marriage equality, is in favour of allowing discrimination in the name of religion, and called discriminatory measure Don’t Ask Don’t Tell “pretty effective”.
Back in 1986 he was rejected from a position of Federal district judge in Alabama after being accused of making “a number of racially insensitive statements”, according to the New York Times.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said: “It is deeply disturbing that Jeff Sessions, who has such clear animus against so many Americans – including the LGBTQ community, women, and people of colour – could be charged with running the very system of justice designed to protect them.
“The man now in charge of enforcing hate crimes protections doesn’t even think they should exist – or that LGBTQ people need them. The man now in charge of enforcing civil rights laws is a man who has a history of undermining the rights of African-American voters.
“Our message to Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions is this: we’re going to fight any attempt to roll back our rights with every resource that we have. We will not give one inch.”
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union – a nonprofit legal and advocacy organisation – took to Twitter to state that they will “sue” Sessions if he violates the Constitution.
BREAKING: Jeff Sessions confirmed as attorney general.
If he violates the Constitution, we'll sue. pic.twitter.com/le02tuG2Pg
— ACLU National (@ACLU) February 9, 2017
It was recently revealed that, while serving as Alabama attorney general in 1996, Sessions launched a public campaign to prevent an LGBT+ rights group from holding a conference at the University of Alabama.
The Southeastern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Conference was intended to start conversation about LGBT rights, and included workshops on coming out, preventing STDS, and substance abuse.
He said at the time: “I intend to do everything I can to stop that conference. The legislature gave serious thought to trying to craft a statute that passed muster, and I believe that my responsibility to defend the laws of Legislature.”
Sessions’ attempts to ban the conference were unsuccessful, as the 1992 state law was later found to be unconstitutional, and the event went ahead with little protest and an increase in expected attendance.