Remarks delivered by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
May 3 action against President Donald Trump’s planned religious exemption executive order
Washington, DC, May 4, 2017 — Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, delivered the following remarks at the May 3 action outside the White House against President Donald Trump’s planned religious exemption executive order. Trump is expected to sign the order today, May 4.
“This executive order is going to be a free pass for widespread and divisive discrimination, against LGBTQ people, against those seeking reproductive health services including abortion, and frankly against everyone. Make no mistake about it: this is part of Trump’s broad plan to oppress specific groups of people evidenced by his other actions over the last 100 days.
“Whether individual groups of people are named specifically, we who this executive order will hurt. LGBTQ people. People of color. Muslims. Women. And it will have the harshest impact on those of us who are low-income. Who can’t just go to another source for services. If a shelter is allowed to discriminate against a transgender young person who doesn’t have housing, there might not be another shelter to try. If a health clinic won’t allow a poor young woman to get an abortion, there might not be another provider she can get to. If a low-income older Muslim man is turned away from the Social Security office, there is nowhere else he can go to get benefits.
“This order will be designed to destroy lives and roll-back fundamental rights. It will trash the separation of church and state and aims to combine them. It will have an immediate and chilling impact on every aspect of our lives, disproportionately impacting the vulnerable.
“What will be shocking to millions of people of all faiths, and secular people alike, is that Trump radically twists freedom of — and freedom from — religion to justify this amoral action.
“Friends, if Trump moves forward on signing it, this executive order will be truly devastating for American freedoms.
“A federal religious exemption executive order is also designed to bolster the discrimination going on in the states. As you all know, this year, we have seen a troubling number of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures. These bills threaten the dignity and equal treatment of LGBTQ people and — as we have seen in states like Texas right now — come in many forms. From anti-reproductive health laws, to explicitly anti-transgender laws, to laws abusing the notion of religious freedom to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people.
“We are resolute in our standing together. We will continue to join with immigrants, Muslims, refugees, women and other fair-minded people in protecting what we hold to be good and true about America.
“We can’t let him win. We must resist and defeat the Bully in Chief.”
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