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In Leaked Speech, AG Sessions Compares Anti-LGBTQ Group to MLK Jr.

Friday Jul 14, 2017

Earlier this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a private speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ and pro-life hate group. Though the Department of Justice refused to release the transcript of Sessions' statements, the right-wing site The Federalist published it, which was later re-published on Mother Jones.

NBC News reports the Justice Department confirmed in an email the transcript is legit.

In his speech, Sessions reveals to the group, which is backing the baker at the center of the religious freedom case headed to the Supreme Court, that new "religious freedom" guidance would be coming out of the Department of Justice.

He said in part:

The president has also directed me to issue guidance on how to apply federal religious liberty protections. The department is finalizing this guidance, and I will soon issue it.

The guidance will also help agencies follow the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Congress enacted RFRA so that, if the federal government imposes a burden on somebody's religious practice, it had better have a compelling reason.


Additionally, Sessions called the ADF's goals "important work" and even compared them to the Civil Rights Movement and the work of Martin Luther King Jr., as Jezebel points out.

And of course it was faith that inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to march and strive to make this country stronger yet. His was a religious movement. The faith that truth would overcome. He said that we "must not seek to solve the problem" of segregation merely for political reasons, but "in the final analysis, we must get rid of segregation because it is sinful." It undermined the promise, as he described it, that "each individual has certain basic rights that are neither derived from nor conferred by the state... they are gifts from the hands of the Almighty God.

Click here to read the full transcript of Sessions' remarks.

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