Openhouse Issued Response to Trump Executive Order

Today President Trump signed an Executive Order proclaiming our government will “vigorously defend religious liberty.” This order not only blurs the constitutionally protected-boundaries between church and state, it grants Attorney General Jeff Sessions permission to overlook and even encourage discrimination by those who wish to refuse service and respect to LGBT communities, women and people with HIV.

So now, Openhouse proclaims that we will vigorously defend and stand with our LGBT seniors – our heroes – who have led us in the fight for equality. We proclaim today that we will stand strong together to ensure America is a place where we are safe, where we are seen, and where we are treated equally.

You see, we have been here before.

We remember when powerful people proclaimed it would never be safe to be out and vigorously defended laws that outlawed our love. We responded by marching out of the closets with our brave leader, Harvey Milk, shouting, “Come out! Come out! Wherever you are!”

We remember when President Reagan refused to acknowledge the AIDS crisis that stole an entire generation, family and community from us. We proclaimed the crisis ourselves. We acted up and shut it down until the world paid attention.

We watched while the National Organization on Marriage proclaimed our country would be destroyed when we got married. And then we proclaimed “I Do!” and the majority of this great country raised a toast to support us.

We remember many proclamations from the past, and we’ve got a proclamation of our own: We’re not going back.

Openhouse and our LGBT senior community, the trailblazers of the movement, declare our refusal to return to the “good old days” of government-sanctioned bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination. We shall stand tall, proud, and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters living at the intersections of LGBT, immigrant, Muslim, and communities of color. And we will continue marching forward in our mission to build a vibrant, healthy and safe future led by our LGBT seniors fighting for equality and dignity for all people.

In Solidarity,

Karyn Skultety and the Staff of Openhouse

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