Trump’s discriminatory travel ban could be deadly for LGBTQ people, so we are fighting him in court

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Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Today, the LGBT Bar Association of New York joined a friend-of-the-court brief urging the US Supreme Court to strike down President Trump’s discriminatory Travel Ban in the case Trump v. Hawaii. We are proud to stand with Immigration Equality, the NYC Anti-Violence Project, NQAPIA, and other groups in opposition to this unlawful policy.

As we make clear to the Court, Trump’s ban would “significantly impair, if not entirely block, many LGBTQ individuals’ chances at family unification and dramatically increase the risk of harm to these applicants abroad.”

Trump’s travel ban is not only discriminatory, it is extremely dangerous — particularly for members of the LGBTQ community.

“Seven of the eight countries targeted by the ban explicitly criminalize homosexual conduct, with some of them authorizing or even mandating the death penalty for such ‘offenses.’ And in each of these countries, LGBTQ individuals face societal and institutionalized homophobia, with many suffering persecution from multiple sources, including disapproving family members, government and police forces, and terrorist groups.”

As our brief makes clear to the Court, the ban is a matter of life and death for our community:

For LGBTQ individuals, this shutdown is not simply a bureaucratic inconvenience, but potentially a matter of life and death. A family-based visa delayed by the Proclamation is, in effect, a visa denied. Visa approvals thwarted by the Proclamation mean LGBTQ individuals must remain in hostile and unsafe conditions indefinitely, delaying reunification with family members in safe communities. The danger is heightened because merely seeking visas from local consular officials, while citing a same-sex relationship as the basis for a waiver, reveals applicants’ sexual orientations or gender identities to local communities and government officials. Moreover, because the Government will only provide waivers to applicants with “formal” and “documented” close familial relationships, LGBTQ individuals — whose relationships are neither sanctioned nor documented by their countries of origin — stand to be disproportionately excluded from these waivers.

The LGBT Bar Association of New York is deeply grateful to the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for their work on this important brief.

Read the brief here.

Executive Director, LeGaL @lgbtbarny. Attorney promoting justice in & through the legal profession for the #LGBT community. 40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

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