The New York Times
Fighting Gay Rights and Abortion With the First Amendment
By Jeremy W. Peters, Nov 22, 2017
The details were spare when the event appeared this summer on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s public schedule. He would speak on religious liberty to a group called Alliance Defending Freedom. No exact location was specified. No news media would be allowed in.
Only after an outcry over such secrecy — and the anti-gay rights positions of its sponsor — did a transcript of Mr. Sessions’s remarks emerge on a conservative website. “Many Americans have felt that their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack,” he told the gathering in Orange County, Calif. “The challenges our nation faces today concerning our historic First Amendment right to the ‘free exercise’ of our faith have become acute.”
Mr. Sessions’s focus was not an accident. The First Amendment has become the most powerful weapon of social conservatives fighting to limit the separation of church and state and to roll back laws on same-sex marriage and abortion rights.