The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly confirmed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to head the Department of Justice.

One Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, crossed party lines to vote with Republicans, who were united in their support for Sessions as the nation's attorney general.

LGBT rights groups criticized the 52-47 vote, noting Sessions' long record in Congress opposing LGBT rights.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest such group, said in a statement that the confirmation of Sessions “places civil rights and equality in jeopardy.”

“It's deeply disturbing that Jeff Sessions, who has demonstrated a clear animus against so many Americans – including the LGBTQ community, women and people of color – could be charged with running the very system of justice designed to protect them,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The man now in charge of enforcing hate crimes protections doesn’t even think they should exist – or that LGBTQ people need them. The man now in charge of enforcing civil rights laws is a man who has a history of undermining the rights of African-American voters. Our message to Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions is this: we’re going to fight any attempt to roll back our rights with every resource that we have. We will not give one inch.”

During his confirmation hearing, several senators quizzed Sessions about his record on LGBT rights, which includes opposition to marriage equality, repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” – the military's previous ban on gay troops serving openly – and hate crimes protections.

When Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, asked Sessions about the Supreme Court's landmark finding that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry and his opposition to such unions, Sessions replied that he would “follow the decision.”

Janson Wu, executive director of the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said in a statement that his group would hold Sessions accountable.

“It is our hope that, now confirmed, Attorney General Sessions will recognize the magnitude of his obligation to all Americans, and will seek to carry out the duties of his office accordingly,” Wu said. “But our Constitution’s guarantees of liberty and equality apply regardless of who holds that office. As advocates for LGBTQ Americans and Americans living with HIV, we stand ready to hold Attorney General Sessions accountable, and to defend those constitutional guarantees at every turn.”