U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed support for the Alliance Defending Freedom, denouncing the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of the conservative legal organization as a “hate group.”
The SPLC has garnered controversy for designating multiple conservative groups, including the ADF, as hateful due in large part to their position on LGBT issues.
In a speech at the ADF’s Summit on Religious Liberty Wednesday evening, Sessions rejected the idea that the group was a bigoted organization.
“You are not a hate group,” declared Sessions before the Summit, receiving enthusiastic applause in response to his statement.
Sessions went on to note that while he believed that the SPLC once did much good for society, they are now using their reputation as a civil rights organization to attack conservative Christians.
“Now the SPLC uses their ‘hate group’ label as a weapon and they have wielded it against conservative organizations that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak their conscience,” said Sessions.
“They use it to bully and intimidate groups like yours which fight for the religious freedom, the civil rights, and the constitutional rights of others.”
Sessions also commended the record of the ADF, noting that they had successfully argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, quipping that “our Department of Justice would like to do that well.”
“In the lower courts, you’ve won hundreds of free speech cases. That’s an impressive record,” Sessions added. “You endeavor to affirm the Constitution and American values.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski