|Attorney General Jeff Sessions|
UPDATE - Sessions's speech has been posted and it's not that controversial (for now). Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed breaks it down
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a much deserved record of both casual racism and outright attacks on civil rights, but his latest actions reveal he’s hardly concerned about his reputation for bigotry. Sessions opted to speak to members of the Alliance Defending Freedom, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an “anti-LGBT hate group” in 2016, at an event closed off to reporters on Tuesday night, and now, Sessions is refusing to release his remarks to the group to the public. ABC News reports that the Department of Justice confirmed that Sessions spoke to the group on Tuesday, but didn’t respond to multiple requests for Sessions’ remarks to the group. Instead, the department released transcripts of Sessions’ remarks from speeches made in Dallas and Las Vegas this week. A spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom told ABC News the group was “working through channels” to release his remarks, but did not specify when they would be released, nor did the group comment on the nature of its relationship with Sessions.
According to SPLC:
Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally. Despite its regular defamation of LGBT people, the group has managed to win special advisory status at the United Nations, in the European Union, and with the Organization of American States.
. . . The ADF has several initiatives that help train conservative Christians. These include a variety of programs designed for young lawyers, including the Young Lawyers Academy, which schools new U.S. attorneys and provides opportunities to “engage the culture and join a network of Christian attorneys around the globe,” and the Areté Academy, which “launches highly accomplished university students and recent graduates on a path to future leadership in law, government, business, and public policy.”
The ADF Academy is a training program that purports to equip participants to “effectively advocate for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” The ADF claims more than 1,800 lawyers have participated. The organization also offers the secretive Blackstone Legal Fellowship, through which Christian law students study under prominent scholars, participate in internships, and prepare for life and leadership in the legal profession. Since 2000 (the year of Blackstone’s inception), the ADF claims it has trained over 1,600 law students from 225 law schools in 21 different countries.
Media Matters pointed out how ADF uses these resources to create a homophobic octopus whose tentacles stretch not only across America, but several foreign countries