Organizations dedicated to LGBT rights are alarmed by an executive order signed Friday by President Trump, who suspended immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations and indefinitely blocked Syrian refugees from seeking asylum.
The order imposed a 90-day suspension of travel from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Trump, who maintained the action was to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” also imposed a religious test that, in the future, would favor Christian immigrants over Muslims.
“We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said during the order's signing, reports The New York Times. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.”
The move, which followed a Wednesday executive order that began plans for a wall to be built on the Mexican border, sparked an outcry from many activists.
“President Trump’s attacks on immigrants and refugees are a direct assault on America’s most fundamental values,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Donald Trump’s unjust and unconscionable executive orders make life more dangerous for countless LGBTQ people, and could equal a death sentence for those trying to escape violence and persecution from places such as Syria. No wall, no matter how high, can block America’s promise of liberty and justice for all.”
The CEO of Lambda Legal, Rachel B. Tiven, called the orders "un-American."
"We are not a country that discriminates against people based on religion or nationality. We are not a country that builds wall between ourselves and the rest of world. As a Jew whose grandparents watched in frustration while President Roosevelt refused to admit refugees from Nazi Germany, I am embarrassed for my country today," Tiven said in a statement.
“America is a beacon for LGBT people around the world, and restricting rather than expanding access to our shores harms us all. Donald Trump’s actions may score him points with his political base, but those points will come at the expense of lives lost, families broken apart and billions of taxpayer dollars wasted.”
Janson Wu, executive director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, also spoke to the "un-American" nature of the ban, while stressing the intersectional solidairy between immigrants and the LGBT community.
“Targeting immigrants, Muslims, and refugees inverts what we know to be America at its best: a country that is made stronger by diversity and a country with freedom — including freedom of religion — as a core value," Wu said. "As the proud son of immigrants, I have witnessed the power of that American ideal firsthand."
"We in the LGBTQ community stand in solidarity with all immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ, at this dark moment. The executive orders are not only un-American, they are ineffectual if they are meant to make America 'strong.' They in fact weaken us by dividing us, and we refuse to be divided.”