Trump launches religious freedom task force to undo another Obama legacy

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At the summit, which was backed by members from Alliance Defending Freedom (a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group), Sessions announced the creation of a "Religious Liberty Task Force", created to implement guidelines announced by Sessions last October.

"I don't recall any DOJ ever hosting a religious liberty summit before", Jeremy Dys, the deputy general counsel at First Liberty, told IJR after attending the summit.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced the creation of a Religious Liberty Task Force to identify opportunities for the Justice Department to engage in issues of religious freedom.

Sessions said that the goal of the new entity will be to protect citizens from federal regulations that go against an individual's religious beliefs.

The task force announced by Sessions Monday morning would be used to help implement these guidelines in response to a negative "cultural climate". Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) by name - Feinstein's questioning of Judge Amy Coney Barrett during Barrett's hearing for confirmation to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last September.

He said the Department of Justice will remain in contact with religious groups across the country to continue to improve its policies and respect religious liberty. And he praised a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple in a case that reached the Supreme Court and ended in his favor this year.

The Department of Justice is launching a new religious liberty task force.

Sessions, a Methodist and former Republican senator from Alabama, has made protecting religious liberty a cornerstone agenda item of his Justice Department - along with defending freedom of speech on college campuses.

The group primarily works to undermine LGBT anti-discrimination protections through a series of court battles, most notably representing baker Jack Phillips - and arguing that religious freedom gives him the right to discriminate against gay customers.

Sessions said there is a "dangerous" movement eroding a long history of resistance against political persecution that dates back to the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, Catholics in Maryland and Quakers in Pennsylvania, making America's dominant culture 'less hospitable to people of faith'.

The task force will be co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Beth Williams and Jesse Panuccio, a lawyer to fought for the supporters of Proposition 8 in California, a 2008 ballot initiative to ban marriage equality.

"The Trump admin is out to refuse abortion care, birth control access, and LGBTQ-inclusive care to the American people", the group said in a statement.

"This administration is animated by that same American view that has led us for 242 years: that every American has a right to believe, worship, and exercise their faith in the public square", Session said.