11:27, August 01 98 0

2018-08-01 11:27:06


Hate group leader is the first member of Trump’s ‘religious liberty’ task force

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a “Religious Liberty Task Force” at the Justice Department saying Donald Trump’s election has given the right a “rare opportunity” to stop a “dangerous movement, undetected by many” that is eroding religious freedom.

In reality, the task force is simply an extension of the Trump administration’s war on LGBT rights and women’s right to choose.

“We have gotten to the point where courts have held that morality cannot be a basis for law; where ministers are fearful to affirm, as they understand it, holy writ from the pulpit; and where one group can actively target religious groups by labeling them a ‘hate group’ on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs,” Sessions said during the announcement.

Within hours, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed Tony Perkins, head of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council, to the body.

“Tony Perkins is the most recognizable anti-LGBT activist in America. He has espoused the most extreme views of LGBT people and other vulnerable communities,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD, said in a statement. “The idea that Perkins would be making policy recommendations to an administration that is already anti-LGBT is dangerous and puts LGBT people directly in harm’s way.”

“In the wake of the Obama administration, we are witnessing a revival of freedom!” Perkins sent out in a press release shortly after Sessions’ speech. “The announcement of the creation of a new Religious Liberty Task Force by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the launch of the next phase of President Trump’s campaign promise to protect the religious freedoms of all Americans.”

“The formation of this task force puts bureaucrats on notice: you will respect the freedom of every American not only to believe but to live according to those beliefs.”

Perkins qualifications for the position include comparing same-sex marriage as the marriage between “a man and his horse,” describing anti-bullying efforts in schools as “disgusting” attempts to “convert” kids to the “gay lifestyle,” and linking homosexuality to pedophilia.

He also has long-standing ties to white supremacist groups and former leader of the KKK, David Duke. Duke helped Perkins get elected twice to the Louisiana state legislature.

In related news, Mediate reports that Alliance Defending Freedom, another anti-LGBT hate group who’s former staffers are now firmly embedded in the Trump administration, is largely behind the task force’s formation.

“ADF holds dozens of extreme anti-LGBT positions on nearly every every aspect of life, including supporting laws that would punish sodomy by imprisonment, writing in favor of Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda” law, and advocating against efforts to protect LGBT youth from the harmful and discredited practice of conversion therapy,” the site reports.

“The group is in many ways the most influential group working to roll back LGBT equality in the country, frequently targeting basic protections for transgender students and pushing religious exemptions policies.”

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