Lambda Legal Tells Supreme Court to Stop Trump's Muslim Ban

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September 18, 2017

Today, Lambda Legal was proud to add its name to a brief filed in the Supreme Court opposing President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” because the Constitution forbids the government from denigrating a particular faith or its adherents. President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is an unconstitutional violation of religious freedom.

Also joining the brief were the religious and civil rights organizations Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice; People For the American Way Foundation; the Southern Poverty Law Center; the Riverside Church in the City of New York; and seven faith leaders from Colorado, Florida, Minnesota and New York. Click here to read the full statement and see the full list of signers.

We signed this brief for many reasons.

First and foremost, an attack on the civil rights of any community is an attack on the principles of liberty and equality that are the foundation of our democracy. Our country is stronger because of our diversity, and we reject Donald Trump’s attempt to pit LGBT people against Muslims or any other marginalized group. We stand with our Muslim siblings because we are one family, and an attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us.

Secondly, there are many LGBT people who are affected by Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim crusade, either because they are Muslim themselves, or because they have friends and family members who are Muslim.

And last, but certainly not least, the LGBT community knows how devastating it can be when political operatives decide to single out your community to score political points. In 2004, in states across this country, the lives of LGBT people were put on the ballot in the form of state constitutional amendments carving us out of the definition of marriage. Many people voted for these measures without knowing or caring what kind of harm these laws would inflict upon LGBT people and their families.

We also know that these kind of laws send a strong message from the government that there are certain classes of people less worthy of protection, which unleashes private acts of discrimination and, in many cases, violence.

Lambda Legal has beaten back these kinds of attacks when directed against the LGBT community specifically, but our commitment to civil rights demands that we stand up and speak out when other groups are targeted as we once were (and have been again by this administration, as demonstrated by Donald Trump’s irrational and politically motivated ban on military service by transgender people).

For this reason, we are extremely proud to have signed onto this brief, and join with scores of other organizations and private citizens who oppose this administration’s attack on Muslims, and refuse to allow this to happen on our watch.

“As longtime advocates for access to immigration and asylum for LGBT people and everyone living with HIV, we denounce the Trump Administration’s efforts to shape immigration policies based on fearmongering and prejudice against Muslims," said Susan Sommer, Lambda Legal's Director of Constitutional Litigation, in a joint statement with the other signers. “The LGBT community has suffered a continuing history of stigmatization and rejection as outsiders. We know all too well that official government discrimination against a vilified group endorses and fuels irrational persecution and violence. The Muslim ban does just that. Our country is better than this.”