News (USA)

Sessions speaks to ‘religious freedom’ summit for group defending antigay baker

Jeff Sessions hate crimes
Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses a federal prosecutors gathered for a Justice Department hate crimes summit in Washington, D.C.Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to speak Tuesday night at an event for the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty in California.

Alliance Defending Freedom is the legal group supporting Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Colorado bakery at the center of a landmark case the United States Supreme Court recently decided to take up to determine if religious people have a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in Colorado in 2012, saying it violated his religious beliefs.

Related: Would Jesus bake a wedding cake for a gay couple?

Sessions’ speech is closed to the press.

Alliance Defending Freedom’s anti-LGBTQ record resulted in the Southern Poverty Law Center naming them a hate group earlier this year.

“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,” Joel Kasnetz, a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement. “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 also condemned the speech in a series of tweets.

As for the Department of Justice? BuzzFeed News‘ Dominic Holden was simply told, “no comment.”

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