Q SyndicateᏈOct 12, 2017
Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III this month delivered on a promise to grant Christian conservatives a "license to discriminate" against LGBTQ employees, consumers, patients, neighbors, students, and passers-by. Any victims of discrimination will find the Department of Justice deaf to their complaints.
[T]he relentless message [in Sessions' memo] is that whenever federal agents in the course of their activities collide with claims that they conflict with religious tenets, they should back off. One of its 20 “principles of religious liberty” bluntly tells federal entities that civil-rights laws protecting people of faith from employment discrimination on religious grounds must be strictly enforced — but they do not apply to religious employers themselves.It's more than a question of wedding cakes and bathrooms. The Human Rights Campaign lists a number of ways Mr. Sessions' rules encourage antigay discrimination:
● A Social Security Administration employee could refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse.The day before Sessions published his memo, he had released a memorandum excluding transgender persons from civil rights protections. These assaults on LGBTQ civil rights were written under the guiding hand of the theocratic Alliance Defending Freedom, a hard-line anti-LGBTQ activist legal advocacy group with deep pockets.
● A federal contractor could refuse to provide services to LGBTQ people, including in emergencies, without risk of losing federal contracts.
● Organizations that had previously been prohibited from requiring all of their employees from following the tenets of the organization's faith could now possibly discriminate against LGBTQ people in the provision of benefits and overall employment status.
● Agencies receiving federal funding, and even their individual staff members, could refuse to provide services to LGBTQ children in crisis, or to place adoptive or foster children with a same-sex couple or transgender couple.
In 2012, [Alan] Sears, then-president of the ADF (called “Alliance Defense Fund” at the time) delivered remarks at a U.S-led conservative conference called the World Congress of Families in Madrid. “In the course of the now hundreds of cases the Alliance Defense Fund has now fought involving this homosexual agenda, one thing is certain,” said Sears at a session titled “The Homosexual Agenda.” “There is no room for compromise with those who would call evil ‘good’.”So to all those gay Trump Loyalists over at Breitbart who post that one picture of Trump holding the rainbow flag upside-down as some sort of proof that he's not as bad as the people who make up his administration, I'm having none of it. Your president is not a details guy. Sessions, Pence, DeVos et al. are in charge of bringing back Puritan Rule, and no hastily scrawled message on a flag is going to change the fact that they are his legacy. He's just there for the signing ceremony and the applause.
“Trump’s supporters like to say, ‘It’s not what he says, it’s what he does that matters.’ That’s definitely the case when it comes to issues affecting LGBT Americans,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, who started the now-defunct conservative gay rights group GOProud along with Barron. “I never thought that Donald Trump was an anti-gay homophobe. I certainly didn’t think that when I met him back in 2011. But we’ve all learned a lot about who he really is since then. With his political pandering and posturing to endear himself to the intolerant wing of the GOP over the last few years, it doesn’t surprise me that this administration will go down as the most anti-LGBT in history.”