We Must Stand with Our Muslim Family

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June 26, 2018

Today is a bittersweet anniversary — and a frightening look at where our country is headed. 

June 26 has been such a golden day for LGBTQ rights. Fifteen years ago, Lambda Legal won Lawrence v. Texas on this day, striking down the sodomy laws and decriminalizing our lives. Five years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and opened the way to marriage equality. And on this day in 2015, the monumental Obergefell ruling made marriage equality the law of the land.  

The Supreme Court’s decision today, upholding the Muslim Ban, is a stain on that anniversary. 

The decision threatens the bedrock American principle that the government cannot show favor or disfavor to any religion. 

Especially when earlier this month, in deciding Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Court was so concerned about the slightest perceived animosity toward a Christian baker that it suggested he might be licensed to break the law. Today, they are untroubled by the President of the United States singling out Muslims for unequal treatment. 

The hypocrisy of this message is clear: religious freedom is a sacred right, but only for a select few. As a queer woman and a Jew, I am outraged and frightened. 

The LGBTQ community and people living with HIV know what it’s like to be red meat for a demagogue’s base, and I am furious that real people will suffer as a direct result of this injustice.

We stand in solidarity with our Muslim family — LGBTQ or not. We stand with organizations like Muslim Advocates, who are longtime, vocal allies of LGBTQ equality. We pledge our continued support to fight the ban and the stigma, discrimination, and violence it helps encourage. We have seen that our most critical, sweeping wins are borne out of meticulous and hard-earned smaller victories. We will fight this injustice together the way we always have.

As I said on TV during Sunday’s Pride March in New York City, where Lambda Legal was honored to be a Grand Marshal, these are not separate stories. The attacks on queer and trans people, on people of color, on immigrants, on Muslims – they are all one story. We are all in this together.

Over years of winning cases — and winning the support of the American public and the world — LGBTQ people have gained power. We built this much power so we can fight back in this moment.

In solidarity.