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Breaking: Outserve-SLDN condemns the Trump Administration’s Action on Religious Freedom

Friday, October 6, 2017   (0 Comments)

 

 

Outserve-SLDN condemns the Trump Administration’s
Action on Religious Freedom
 

 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) October 6, 2017 – OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matt Thorn issued the following statement today in response to President Trump’s action on religious freedom.
 
“OutServe-SLDN condemns the unjust, discriminatory and un-American actions of the Trump Administration in moving to enable nationwide, federally-sanctioned discrimination against whole classes of people under the guise of protecting religious freedom. By dramatically reinterpreting religious exemptions in existing laws and executive orders, the Trump administration is providing a broad, unfettered license to discriminate to federal government employees, nonprofit organizations and companies that receive any kind of government contracts or funding.
 
Far from bringing the nation together, this action further divides Americans into haves and have-nots: those who have equal rights and those who don’t. This action is grossly unfair, discriminatory and goes against the principles on which this nation was founded. 
 
We have been down this intolerant road before with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) and the ban on transgender service members. Today’s action is an abomination as bad as DADT and the transgender ban.
 
LGBT servicemembers and veterans have served this nation since its founding and have fought and died to protect our freedoms. They should never again be separated into a lesser class of citizens solely because of their sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. And they should never again be subject to discrimination simply because they are trying to serve their country. But that’s exactly what this Executive Order will enable – it’s a blank check for hate written by the government of the United States.
 
Make no mistake: these kinds of discriminatory actions by a federal government breed resentment, fear and hatred. And the climate that it creates enables hate speech or worse against anyone perceived as different or “less than” others. We’ve seen the impact of that kind of environment on our military and our nation. No one should ever want to return to it.
 
Freedom of religion is a fundamental American value. But the utilization of religion as a tool of discrimination goes against everything it means to be an American. OutServe-SLDN condemns this hateful, divisive, reinterpretation by the Department of Justice of religious freedom and we will vehemently oppose this and any attempts by this administration to provide a license to discriminate.

 
In the face of this administration’s current and recent actions, we reaffirm our dedication to supporting and advocating for our nation’s LGBT servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

OutServe-SLDN remains unequivocally committed to legally defend all service members, veterans, their families, and Defense and Veterans Affairs civilians and contractors as a result of any actions of the Trump Administration. Last year, our legal department handled over 300 cases. We are prepared to handle whatever we may be presented with in the aftermath of the signing of today's actions.

OutServe-SLDN also will launch our new Legal Emergency Action Fund (L.E.A.F.) initiative today to raise funds for the expected legal work resulting from these actions. Impact Litigation and Attorneys are costly and OutServe-SLDN provides all of our services pro-bono. It is imperative that we have the resources to handle the cases resulting from this egregious Executive Order. Continuing to build our legal defense is our number one priority, now more than ever.

If you think you, or your family may need legal assistance, immediately contact Andy Blevins, our Legal & Policy Manager, immediately. He can be reached via email at ablevins@outserve.org, or via phone, toll-free, at 800-538-7418.

 

 


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