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LGBT Catholics Stand with Immigrants, Refugees, Visitors from Banned Countries

Boston, MA. January 30, 2017. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics committed to equality in the church and society for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, has expressed deep concern about Executive Orders issued by President Trump. The organization is especially alarmed by plans to build a wall across the border between the US and Mexico, and the order prohibiting travel to the US by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

“It is disturbing that our new President has chosen to use his first days in office to legitimize an ‘us vs. them’ dynamic and to stir up fear against people who simply want a good life for themselves and their families,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director. “These Executive Orders put our entire country in an antagonistic stance with other people and other nations, and can also divide people in our own country.

“As people who have suffered discrimination based on our identity, we know how dangerous it is to be subject to be negative stereotypes, no matter how untrue. We are saddened and outraged that people are being kept out of our country based on unfounded assumptions. This is wrong, and will not contribute to the security or prosperity of the United States.”

Duddy-Burke noted that DignityUSA was among 90 organizations that sent a letter to Congress on January 17, 2017. The letter called on Congress “to support core principles of the First Amendment and religious freedom in our country by denouncing anti-Muslim rhetoric and policy proposals.” It reviewed proposals made by the President and several Cabinet members and stated, “The proposed policies to bar Muslims from entering the US and to register Muslims currently living in our communities, for example, alarmingly parallel the deeply shameful policy of interning Japanese Americans on the basis of political fear-mongering after the US entered World War II. Supporters of the President-elect have shamefully cited that horrific moment in our nation’s history as precedent for singling out our Muslim family, friends and neighbors.”

Duddy-Burke said, “DignityUSA believes that our nation’s policies regarding immigration, travel, and assistance to refugees should be based on the principles enshrined in our constitution, and on the rich history the US has of embracing people from around the globe. We reject all actions and policies that ban people based on religion, national origin, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic. Our faith compels us to ensure that every person is treated in a way that respects the individual’s dignity and human rights.”