On Monday, the Department of Justice announced that it was creating a "religious liberty task force." The new project, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will “ensure all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations.” Sessions cited the need to protect "nuns ordered to buy contraception" and referred to the Colorado baker who became a hero to some and villain to others by refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
"The Constitution’s protections don’t end at the parish parking lot nor can our freedoms be confined to our basements,” he said.
Natalie Grace Martin and Madeline Eckhart of Northern Ohio AltPop duo DreamStates see the darker implications of the "task force." They see if as being about civil liberties — not protecting them, but stripping them away and opening the door for sanctioned discrimination in the name of "religious freedom."
Today the musicians/activists from the Akron area released a statement about Sessions' announcement.
“As two proud transgender women, (we) have no interest in staying silent while lawmakers in this country try to strip us of our freedoms, rights, and protections under the law. This action marks yet another in a long series of devious attempts by this administration to silence, invalidate, and marginalize LGBT Americans. It is thoroughly un-American to place religious beliefs above the civil rights and protections of any marginalized community, and that’s precisely what this amounts to. It’s a blatant disregard for the safety and freedom of American citizens."
Last month, DreamStates released a music video for their song "Normal," which includes empowering lines like "People say some messed up things, if you listen for it/Caught up with the masses, just enough to clip your wings/But you are more than any stereotype, you're not defined by old cliches/And if you ponder longer, you just might ask yourself "What's normal anyway?"