Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he isn't bothered in the slightest by a Pride event being organized this month at the Department of Justice.
"We are going to have a pride group in this very room," he noted during a question-and-answer session held in The Great Hall of the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building. "That's perfectly appropriate. And we will protect and defend and celebrate that, and protect the rights of all transgender persons."
The event on June 28 is being organized by LGBT employees at the DOJ and will take on Sessions indirectly by honoring transgender activists, including Gavin Grimm, who BuzzFeedreports will be given the Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award.
Grimm is the high school student at the center of a case that would've been heard at the Supreme Court on March 28 except that a decision by Sessions led to the case being vacated. Among his first acts as attorney general, Sessions struck down Obama administration guidance to schools that had said transgender students ought to be treated according to their gender identity. Because the appeals court had factored that guidance into its ruling, the case was sent back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and forced to start over.
Sessions was asked about the Trump administration failing to acknowledge Pride month. A question by intern Courtney Hagle to the attorney general was caught on video and shared on Twitter. Sessions answered by bragging about the DOJ Pride event as if he is a supporter.
Then he named a Department of Justice investigation of the ongoing murders of transgender people as further example of his support for LGBT people.
"For example, I received a letter expressing concern about the sudden transgender persons who had been killed," he said. "I, first thing, directed the civil rights division to look into those incidents to see if there was any uniform attack, or if there was just a uniform hostility that would result in these murders, and to review each one of those cases that were sent to me. And they have done that. And I think it's possible that they're going to re-open one and solve it as a result of that."
Sessions wouldn't comment on Trump failing to issue the usual proclamation of June as Pride month. He instead claimed to be committed to fighting discrimination.
"We are not going to allow persons in this country to be discriminated against or attacked in any way over their sexual orientation," he told Hagle.