WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Attorney General Sessions’ guidance issued today:
“This guidance is totally unnecessary, and is yet another mean-spirited attack against the LGBTQ community, people of color, and other minorities. This guidance is designed to do one thing – create a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community and others, sanctioned by the federal government and paid for by taxpayers.
Yes, the freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it is not an absolute right. It cannot be used as a shield to permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, just as federal courts a half century ago denied the ability of businesses and employers to use their religious beliefs as a basis to discriminate against African Americans.
Federal agencies, government contractors, and grant recipients should not be permitted to discriminate simply by citing a religious belief for doing so. We urge the federal courts to reject the radical efforts by this administration to justify discrimination on the basis of religion. We are strengthened as a nation when we work to protect and balance the rights and dignity of all.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.