(Washington, DC, May 3, 2017)—This afternoon, LGBTQ community members, advocates, religious leaders, and others will gather across the street from the White House to speak out against the religious liberties executive order that will reportedly be signed tomorrow by Trump. Leaked previous versions of this executive order sanctioned discrimination against the LGBTQ community and scaled back access to health care for women under a distorted interpretation of religious liberty.

At the rally this afternoon, National Center for Lesbian Rights Policy Director Julianna S. Gonen’s remarks will include the following statement:


“Our laws do not allow the use of religious beliefs to harm others. It is wrong to let government actors or officials pick and choose who they will serve based on their own personal religious beliefs. You cannot opt out of treating LGBTQ community members, women, and our families with the dignity and respect we deserve.

One set of far-right religious beliefs cannot be imposed on all or dictate whom we love and marry; whether, when, and how we have children; or what we can do or who we can be based on our sex or gender.

We have not come this far to let one man take us backward with one stroke of a pen.

The Trump administration cannot hollow out our rights or undermine our families. And we will meet them and we will beat them in a court of law and in the court of public opinion. We know that the majority of Americans are fair-minded people who don’t believe that faith should be twisted into a weapon to hurt people.

At the National Center for Lesbian Rights, we’ve been pushing LGBTQ rights forward since 1977. And after 40 years of bringing landmark cases that secured parenting, adoption, and marriage equality for LGBTQ families, we’re not going back now.”