On a largely party-line 54-45 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed William Barr, on Thursday, as President Donald J. Trump’s next U.S. attorney general — a move that has put equality groups on guard amid indications he’d continue anti-LGBT policy and attacks on reproductive freedoms at the U.S. Justice Department.

 

David Cole, American Civil Liberties Union legal director, said:

“Now that William Barr has been confirmed, he should be on notice that if under his leadership the Department of Justice continues the unconstitutional policies and practices of his predecessor, the ACLU will see him in court. The attorney general’s job is to enforce the law for all, and we will hold him to it.”

 

Sharon McGowan, Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer of Lambda Legal, issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed William Barr, President Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, over the objections of civil rights leaders:

 

“As Attorney General, William Barr will be responsible for defending the civil rights of all people, not just the wealthy and the powerful. From his first day on the job, he must make clear that, unlike his predecessor, he will not use the Department of Justice as a weapon of discrimination and bigotry. He must bring new leadership to the Department of Justice, and get it back in the business of defending civil rights and equal justice under law for all people.”

 

Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, was among the LGBT rights supporters who expressed concern over Barr’s anti-LGBT record:

 

“There’s little doubt that William Barr will carry on this administration’s ongoing efforts at rolling back the progress LGBTQ Americans have made in recent years,” Ellis said. “This confirmation today reminds us once again that the Trump administration is no friend to us.”

 

David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Barr’s confirmation spells trouble for LGBT people:

 

“William Barr has made clear that as attorney general he would not defend and uphold civil rights laws for all Americans — including LGBTQ people,” Stacy said. From his deeply disturbing opposition to nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people to his record of undermining HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and awareness — Barr would perpetuate Jeff Sessions’ work to license discrimination and double down on the Trump-Pence administration’s harmful attacks on the LGBTQ community.”

 

NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President of Communications and Strategic Research Adrienne Kimmell issued the following statement:

 

"William Barr has made it very clear that he believes Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned, and his appointment only helps to further the Trump administration’s relentless campaign against women’s essential reproductive rights. From appointing Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to gut Roe v. Wade and criminalize abortion, to spending the past two years launching an all-out assault on access to abortion and birth control, Barr’s confirmation is Trump’s latest move to use his administration as a weapon against women and our most fundamental right to control our own bodies and decide our own destinies.”

 

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