PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At the nation’s largest LGBTQ conference in Philadelphia, advocates are gathering this week to discuss a wide range of issues. One late addition to the program is a potential pushback from the incoming Trump administration.
Attendees oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General because of what they call his “record of hostility” toward them. They say he will be charged with defending the equal rights of gay and lesbian and transgender Americans, but his record indicates that he won’t.READ MORE: Flyers Fans Return To Packed Wells Fargo Center For First Time In More Than 500 Days
Organizers note as a Republican U.S. Senator from Alabama, Sessions was critical of the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage, and he voted against measures expanding hate crime legislation to include sexual orientation.
Stacey Long Simmons, of the National LGBTQ Task Force, says Sessions has sponsored legislation to roll back LGBT rights in housing, employment and health care.
“Senator Sessions’ confirmation would be dangerous,” Simmons said, “not only from a legal standpoint, but from what it represents culturally for our nation.”READ MORE: Vehicle Hits Multiple Pedestrians Outside Of High School Football Game In Wilmington
Executive Director Ted Martin of Equality Pennsylvania says President-elect Trump is setting the wrong tone with his selections for Vice President (Indiana Gov. Mike Pence), Secretary of State (ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson) and Education Secretary (Betsy DeVos, whose family has contributed to conservative causes), to name a few.
“Senator Sessions is not the only eyesore in this long list of appointments,” Martin said. “That’s terribly troubling.”
At the “Creating Change Conference,” there are workshops on violence and sexual assault prevention, race and gender in schools, and anti-discrimination laws and policies. One of them is dubbed “bigger than bathrooms,” a reference to access to public bathrooms based on gender identity. Its overarching goal is freedom, justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people across the country.
The program for more than 4,000 attendees reads, “Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love, and this week, of “Queerly Love.”MORE NEWS: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Surprises Football Team At Alma Mater Freedom High School In Bethlehem With Video