As Alabama’s attorney general in 1996, Sessions attempted to stop the Southeastern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Conference from meeting at the University of Alabama under a state law passed in 1992 that made it illegal for public universities to fund in any way a group that promotes “actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws.” Fob James, the Republican governor of Alabama, said he believed the conference violated the 1992 law.
Sessions agreed, though initially said he wouldn’t take legal action to intervene. A spokeswoman for Sessions told the Birmingham News that the law was “fuzzy” on such events, and it would be hard to take legal action to stop the conference. Sessions wrote a letter to University President Roger Sayers giving his opinion the conference violated state law and asking that it be cancelled.
Sessions then stepped up his efforts. At a news conference reported by multiple news outlets at the time, he said he might try to get a court order to stop the conference. Several days later, a federal judge struck down Alabama’s 1992 law as unconstitutional. US District Judge Myron Thompson, in his opinion striking down the law, wrote that it was “an open effort by the State Legislature to limit the sexuality discussion in institutions of higher learning to only one viewpoint: that of heterosexual people. This viewpoint limitation violates the first amendment.”
Sessions vowed to appeal, and told reporters he would even seek an injunction to stop the conference. “I intend to do everything I can to stop that conference,” Sessions said, according to the Huntsville Times. “The Legislature gave serious thought to trying to craft a statute that passed muster,” Sessions added. “And I believe that my responsibility is to defend the laws of the Legislature.”
The conference did end up happening. Since his election to the US Senate, Session has continued his campaign against every aspect of LGBT rights. He is a co-sponsor of the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which would legalize anti-LGBT discrimination by businesses. Trump has promised to sign the bill into law.