AVP Action Brief: We Will Not Be Divided; Stop Religious Exemptions, Stop Sessions

President Trump has begun to carry out many of his troubling campaign promises that threaten the safety, security, and rights of LGBTQ people and many others in this country. Now, more than ever, we need to stay informed and take action. Our AVP Action Brief, tracks actions of this administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

We will not be divided

Last week, buried in the language of Trump’s executive order on immigration from Muslim countries, was this line: “[T]he United States should not admit those who […] would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.” Using the safety of LGBTQ people as a reason to enforce a Muslim ban is unethical, and we won’t stand for it. Nor will we be divided by this tactic, especially as we support our LGBTQ Muslim community members. This past weekend, AVP joined thousands of New Yorkers at a Rally and March to End Refugee and Muslim Ban. Nothing suggests that the Trump administration will be friendly to LGBTQ people, and we stand with our Muslim, immigrant and refugee friends, family, and community members.

Stop religious exemptions, Stop Sessions

Tomorrow, the senate will vote to confirm or deny Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Not only does Sessions have a decidedly anti-LGBTQ voting history, but he’s also voiced his support for the First Amendment Defense Act—a bill that would allow individuals or organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religious freedom. FADA would allow employees or agencies to deny even life-saving services to LGBTQ people without any federal action. Despite laws existing in 20+ states protecting LGBTQ residents from discrimination, the administration could use FADA to overturn those protections. FADA is emblematic of legislation that both codifies and sanctions hate against LGBTQ people.  When bills like FADA pass, it sends the message that it’s okay to hate, it’s okay to discriminate, and it leaves our communities vulnerable to violence. We will fight this, along with any other hate-based legislation or executive orders. AVP joined 437 civil rights groups, including immigrant rights and LGBTQ organizations, in speaking out against Sessions’ appointment. It’s crucial that we take action to stop the Sessions confirmation.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and tell them not to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Tweet at your senator using the hashtag #StopSessions.
  • Join the LGBT Solidarity Rally in support of Muslims, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers
  • Attend AVP’s Brooklyn Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Forum on Friday to address the needs of TGNC New Yorkers focused on immigration, employment, policing and more.
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.
  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.

Further reading:
NBC OUT: First Amendment Defense Act Looms Over Sessions’ Confirmation Vote
Washington Post: Trump’s hard-line actions have an intellectual godfather: Jeff Sessions
NBC News: Trump’s Immigration Restrictions Could Be LGBTQ ‘Death Sentence’