U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, well known for his anti-LGBTQ views, was confronted by a protester with a transgender pride flag Monday.
Sessions was speaking at a Boston event for the Federalist Society, a conservative group that has played a key role in selecting Supreme Court justices and other federal judges during Donald Trump's presidency. The protester held up a trans pride flag and yelled, "We will not be erased!" in a reference to a memo circulating among federal agencies that would define gender so as to exclude trans people from legal protections or even recognition of their existence. The protester was escorted out, HuffPost reports.
There have been several demonstrations of transgender visibility since news of the memo leaked just over a week ago. Also Monday, the National Center for Transgender Equality helped activists unfurl a 150-foot transgender pride flag at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. On Sunday, during the final game of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, activists displayed a flag at Dodger Stadium reading "trans people deserve to live."
Sessions's anti-transgender actions include revoking guidance from the Obama administration that called for inclusive treatment of transgender students in the nation's schools, such as using their preferred names and pronouns, and allowing them access to the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice. Under him, the Justice Department has also argued that federal laws against sex discrimination do not cover discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Sessions had a long anti-LGBTQ record as a U.S. senator from Alabama and as a state official before becoming attorney general.
At the Federalist Society event, Sessions was beset by two other protesters, apparently objecting to the administration's policy of separating and incarcerating immigrant families who cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization. Sessions has supported the policy and even said it is based in biblical teaching.
One man read a Bible verse about taking in strangers and identified himself as a member of the United Methodist Church, the same denomination as Sessions, HuffPost reports. "Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need, to remember that when you do not care for others, you are wounding the body of Christ," he said. Another protester, saying he was a Baptist minister, started to talk about the Bible as well. Both men were escorted out, with the latter saying the action was hypocritical because Sessions's talk was on religious liberty.