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VICTORY: NQAPIA’s LGBTQ Amicus Brief in Federal Court Helps Block Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban

You may have heard that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban on Dec. 22. What you may not yet have heard is that the Court made specific reference to NQAPIA’s amicus brief in its legal reasoning.

This is a significant victory. Court opinions very rarely cite amicus briefs. And, we were tremendously successful in showing the court how the Muslim ban has a direct impact on the lives of LGBTQ people. The court said:

[Trump’s Travel] Proclamation also risks denying lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (“LGBTQ”) individuals in the United States the opportunity to reunite with their partners from the affected nations. See Brief of NQAPIA, Immigration Equality et al. as Amici Curiae, Dkt. No. 101 at 17–20. The Proclamation allows that it “may be appropriate” to grant waivers to foreign nationals seeking to reside with close family members in the United States. 82 Fed. Reg. at 45,168–69. But many of the affected nations criminalize homosexual conduct, and LGBTQ aliens will face heightened danger should they choose to apply for a visa from local consular officials on the basis of their same-sex relationships. Brief of Immigration Equality at 4. The public interest is not served by denying LGBTQ persons in the United States the ability to safely bring their partners home to them. (Order, at 66.)

This win is possible because of many supporters, donors, and allies. Joining NQAPIA on the brief were Immigration Equality, the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP provided pro bono assistance in writing and submitting the brief.

Thank you so much. Next stop, the US Supreme Court.

Read More

Read the 9th Amicus Brief

Read the 9th Circuit Court Order citing the LGBT Brief

Workshops & Tracks

Conference Workshop Tracks or Programming Clusters

100 workshops on the following areas, among others:

  • Leadership development
  • Advocacy and organizing skills
  • Organizational capacity building
  • Social justice issues – race, gender, immigrants rights, etc.
  • Philanthropy – fundraising and resourcing
  • Sex and sexuality
  • Faith
  • Gender justice
  • Racial justice
  • Youth
  • International
  • Professional Development / Corporate Advancement
  • Health and Wellness
  • Arts & Culture

Special Pre-Conference Convenings and Workshop Tracks

  • Leaders of LGBT API organizations (NQAPIA Member Groups)
  • Philanthropy – LGBT API Donors and Funders
  • Religious Leaders – Ministers, Pastors, and Clergy
  • Youth
  • International – from Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam Sri Lanka, India
  • LGBT API Professionals and Corporate Leaders
  • South Asian planning for DesiQ

Plenary Topics

Friday Lunch Plenary – Intersectionality: Being All of Who We Are

  • Safety and Security
  • Family Acceptance
  • Affirming Faith
  • Career Advancement
  • Safe Space and Community (organizations)
  • Trans Inclusion

Saturday Breakfast Plenary – Asserting Our Agenda: Advocacy and Organizing

  • Racial Justice
  • Immigrants’ Rights
  • Trans and Gender Justice
  • Heath
  • International

Sunday Brunch Plenary – Where Do We Go From Here

  • Future Program Planning
  • Establish Working Groups and Follow Up Plans
  • Taking the Conference Home

About the Conference

Every three (3) years, NQAPIA coordinates a National Conference to bring together LGBTQ APIs from across the nation where they can be all of who they are to be affirmed, learn, and grow. We seek to build a world where every LGBTQ API person can live their lives authentically in their homes, families, places of workshop, jobs, professions, schools and communities.

Conference Objectives

The conference goals are to network, organize, train, educate, and build capacity of the nation’s LGBTQ API community.

Networking: The conference will bring together several constituencies of the LGBTQ API community—local community leaders, grassroots activists, youth, professionals, parents, health advocates, organizational heads, international activists, funders, and donors—to exchange ideas and strategies. Networking inspires new solutions and rejuvenates existing ones. We hope to solidify current relationships and make new connections at local, regional, national, and transnational levels.

Education: The conference seeks to increase awareness on current issues confronting LGBTQ APIs. Mainstream API civil rights and immigrants’ rights issues require a queer analysis. At the same time, LGBTQ rights require an approach that considers race, ethnicity, and immigration. We will review a range of topics including immigration reform, family acceptance, racial justice, trans justice, and international solidarity.

Organizing: Conference organizers hope the conference will help identify and build a political agenda for LGBTQ APIs, brainstorm ideas for political action, and map out existing resources in the community. This must be founded upon intersections of different forms of oppressions and multi-issue organizing. This includes workshops on Trans Justice, Challenging Anti-Blackness, Solidarity Organizing, and Direct Action skills building.

Building Capacity: We hope to give leaders and members of LGBTQ API organizations tools to better achieve their goals and overcome challenges. This includes workshops on leadership, building a team, board development, communications and media, grant writing, engaging volunteers/members, and grassroots fundraising.

Inclusion: Conference planners are taking affirmative steps to meaningfully involve those who have been traditionally underrepresented—including women, people of transgender experience, young people, Pacific Islanders, and activists outside of the Coasts—to ensure that the conference is pan-Asian. Organizers will target outreach, and we hope to provide travel scholarships to ensure inclusion.

Overall, we hope to build community and advance an agenda that will bring all LGBTQ racial and ethnic minority groups into the full fold of society, the LGBTQ movement, and the API community.

Decision Making and Planning

We hope to be transparent and inclusive in planning the national conference. The majority of the work and decision-making will be centered in our Conference Planning Committee made up of both local and national representatives. Anyone can join either of the committees. The Local Planning Committee will coordinate logistics, off-site venues, community housing, local recruitment, performances, social activities, accessibility, and local fundraising. The National Planning Committee will coordinate programming—including workshops, speakers, national fundraising, and national recruitment. Each Committee will inform the other and will be supported by NQAPIA staff.


Draft Conference Schedule

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Time Event
9:00A – 5:00P Pre-Conference Strategy Meetings

  • Parents of LGBTQ kids
  • Philanthropy – LGBT API Donors and Funders
  • Religious Leaders – Ministers and Pastors
  • LGBT API Professionals and Corporate Leaders / Members
  • South Asian planning for DesiQ
6:30P – 9:00P Welcoming Reception (Off-Site)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Time Event
8:00A – 9:00A Continental Breakfast & Welcome
9:15A – 10:45A Session 1: Workshops
11:00A – 1:00P Lunch Plenary
Intersectionality: Being All of Who We Are
1:15P – 2:45P Session 2: Workshops
3:00P – 4:30P Session 3: Workshops
4:45P – 5:45P Session 4: Caucuses
6:00P Dinner on your own
8:00P – 10:00P Show/Cultural Performance
10:00P – 12:00A Late-Night Karaoke

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Time Event
8:15A – 10:15A Breakfast Plenary
Asserting our Agenda: Advocacy and Organizing
10:30A – 12:00P Session 5: Workshops
12:15P – 1:15P Lunch on your own OR Special Lunchtime Meetings

  • Donors & Philanthropy Funders
  • Ministers, Pastors, & Religious Leaders
  • Professionals & Corporate Leaders
  • Leaders of LGBTQ API Organizations (NQAPIA Member Groups)
  • Youth
  • International (Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India)
1:15P – 2:45P Session 6: Workshops
3:00P -4:30P Session 7: Workshops
4:45P – 5:45P Session 8: Caucuses
6:30P – 12:00A GAPA Anniversary and Community Catalyst AWards Celebration Banquet (offsite)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Time Event
9:30A – 11:00A Session 9: Workshops
11:15A – 12:15P Brunch Plenary
Where Do We Go from Here?
12:30P – 1:30P Session 10: Regional Caucuses
1:45P – 2:30P Plenary: Report Backs, Next Steps, Evaluation, Closing
3:00P – 6:00P Optional Outing: San Francisco Walking Tour

Exhibitors all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning

Location & Accommodations

Hilton San Francisco Financial DistrictAll conference workshops will be held at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, and a block of rooms have been reserved at the conference hotel.

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
750 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108

A special, discounted conference rate of  $169 per night per room plus tax is available. You must book your discounted hotel room by July 1, 2018 with the reservation code “NQAPIA 2018.”


Book your discounted hotel room today!


2018 National Conference

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)—a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (API) organizations—is planning a 400-person LGBTQ API National Conference from July 26-29, 2018 in San Francisco, CA.  NQAPIA develops LGBTQ API leadership, builds the capacity of local organizations, invigorates grassroots organizing and advocacy, and challenges anti-LGBTQ prejudice, racism, and anti-immigrant bias. This conference is locally hosted by NQAPIA’s federation members and dedicated individuals.


Thursday, July 26 to Sunday, July 29, 2018

Location and Accommodations

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
750 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108


Expected 350-400 attendees


Tracy Nguyen, Conference Coordinator
coordinator (at) nqapia (dot) org

More Conference Details

About the Conference
Location & Accommodations
Workshops & Tracks

Support the Conference

Contact Conference Coordinator Tracy Nguyen at coordinator (at) nqapia (dot) org to join the Conference Committee

Make a contribution to the conference by making a donation

Job Opportunity: Organizing Fellow

Do you want to build a world where all queer and trans people can live into our full, complicated, and beautiful truths? Are you excited to organize against racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia in Trump’s America? Do you dream of building power with LGBTQ API communities?

Then, come and organize with NQAPIA! We are hiring a part-time Organizing Fellow at 10-15 hours/week. The position is for 1 year, with the possibility of extension contingent on performance and funding.

Job Description

Primary Responsibilities in 2018

Organize and facilitate National QTAPI Movement Convergences
From February-June, NQAPIA is working with our local member organizations to host “movement convergences” to identify community needs, support local political education and leadership development, shape our work and campaigns for the next few years, and support people to come to our national conference in July!

  • Support Organizing Director (OD) and Racial Justice & Immigrant Rights (RJIR) Working Group to identify key local partners to host “movement convergences” across the country
  • Coordinate planning phone calls and logistics with local host organization
  • With OD, develop and run curriculum at QTAPI Movement Convergences
  • With OD and RJIR Working Group, develop a follow-up plan to engage Convergence attendees in local and national work

Chair NQAPIA’s Racial Justice & Immigrant Rights Working Group
NQAPIA has three active working groups: Racial Justice & Immigrant Rights, Trans Justice, and Youth. Since much of the work for this position came out of the RJIR Working Group, the Organizing Fellow will chair this working group.

  • Organize monthly calls with a co-chair and working group members
  • Identify new members to join the RJIR Working Group
  • Work with members of the RJIR Working Group to plan the following:

Organize a QTAPI / QTPOC Racial Justice Convening
In the fall, NQAPIA is planning a Racial Justice Convening. This will be shaped in part by the Convergences and the 2018 National Conference. The goal is to strategize in-person with other QTPOC organizations.

  • Work with key member and partner organizations to identify goals and intended outcomes from the convening, with support of OD and RJIR Working Group
  • Work with OD and RJIR Working Group to identify key players in racial justice movements in QTAPI and QTPOC communities; send invitations and follow up
  • Develop a grassroots fundraising plan to raise money for the Convening
  • Bottom-line logistics for the Convening, including budget, location/housing, food, and travel

Coordinate a National Action on 9/11 in 2018
NQAPIA has been asked by our Racial Justice & Immigrant Rights Working Group to continue holding space and building power on 9/11, with queer and trans Muslims in the lead.

  • Building on work in 2016 and 2017, create the framework for a National Day of Action on or around 9/11 with RJIR Working Group
  • Identify goals, intended outcomes, and strategy behind continued actions on 9/11
  • Coordinate action plan, messaging, and logistics across actions in at least 4 cities

Ongoing administrative and logistical support for the Organizing Team as needed.

Required Skills

  • Relationship-building: able to build strong relationships across the US & motivate people into action
  • Vision: able to support a group to vision a campaign/action
  • Organizing: able develop strategy, build power, and plan direct actions
  • Detail-oriented: able to handle logistics, details, and follow-through
  • Self-starter: able to jump in and start right away and to work remotely
  • Ownership: able to own a project from start to finish
  • Facilitation: able to facilitate an organizing/planning meeting
  • Flexibility: able to work evenings and weekends and to travel (all travel will be covered)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous campaign or organizing or direct action experience around queerphobia, xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia, and/or their intersections
  • Current or previous experience with NQAPIA and/or one of NQAPIA’s LGBTQ API organizations
  • Current or previous experience with a QTPOC organization
  • Strong writing skills
  • Press/media experience


This position has a fixed stipend of $12,000 for 1 year, paid in $1,000 increments monthly, with additional compensation paid out during higher volume months.

Application & Start Date

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to jobs@nqapia.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with a January start date.

Enroll in Health Insurance


Enroll in health insurance by December 15 at healthcare.govYou should never face discrimination. You may qualify for lower prices. You can get free, unbiased help. It's the law to have health insurance. Visit healthcare.gov and enroll in coverage by 12/15You should never face discrimination. You may qualify for lower prices. You can get free, unbiased help. It's the law to have health insurance. Visit healthcare.gov and enroll in coverage by 12/15You should never face discrimination. You may qualify for lower prices. You can get free, unbiased help. It's the law to have health insurance. Visit healthcare.gov and enroll in coverage by 12/15You should never face discrimination. You may qualify for lower prices. You can get free, unbiased help. It's the law to have health insurance. Visit healthcare.gov and enroll in coverage by 12/15You should never face discrimination. You may qualify for lower prices. You can get free, unbiased help. It's the law to have health insurance. Visit healthcare.gov and enroll in coverage by 12/15

LGBT Asians/South Asians Protest Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban v. 3.0

For Immediate Release: Monday, Oct 17, 2017
For More Information:
Roberta Sklar 917-704-6358 robertasklar@yahoo.com
Glenn Magpantay, 917-439-3158, glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org


LGBT Asians/South Asians Protest Trump’s Anti-Muslim Travel Ban v. 3.0

Actions in 7 Cities, Stories of Queer Muslims, and LGBT Amicus Brief in Court

New York, NY … On Wednesday, October 18, Trump’s anti-Muslim Travel Ban v. 3.0 is scheduled to go into effect.  The revised ban which bars people from six majority Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad) and North Korea and Venezuela from coming to the United States and delays all refugee entries.  The last two countries replace Sudan and Iraq, which were part of the original travel ban, and added Chad.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance has led a national campaign in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender  (LGBT) community protesting the ban including:

  • LGBT amicus brief in the legal challenges in court
  • Organized a series of awareness-building actions in 7 cities
  • Telling the stories of LGBT Muslims in America

“Trump’s revised travel ban is a thinly veiled attempt to disguise the ban in the eyes of the court.  But it is still an anti-Muslim ban and we’ll fight this one too. Trump’s ban threatens the lives of immigrants and refugees from all walks of life.  It has a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people and tears our families apart.” said Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director.


On the day after the Executive Orders were announced, January 27, chaos broke out in airports across the United States with travelers being stopped, held, turned back etc. NQAPIA received several urgent complaints and provided legal assistance to LGBT Muslim people and allies at airports who were caught up in Trump’s orders.

NQAPIA, NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and Immigration Equality, with the pro bono assistance of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, filed amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs in both the US Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to show the impact of Trump’s Executive Orders on the LGBT community. Multiple lower courts have ruled against Trump and suspended the travel ban. Read the brief at bit.ly/trumpvhawaii

NQAPIA’s brief illustrates the impact of the travel ban on the LGBT community. Homosexuality is criminalized in the counties subject to the ban. Many LGBT people in those countries are fleeing oppression due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. But, Trump’s travel ban prevents them from reaching safety and from escaping persecution and life-threatening conditions in their home countries or in refugee camps abroad.

The brief also illustrates the impact on U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have LGBT partners and family members abroad who are seeking refuge in the United States. Trump’s travel ban deprives U.S. citizens and LPRs of their constitutionally-protected right to maintaining familial relationships with their loved ones—whose safety is jeopardized by their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Throughout the weekend of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, NQAPIA organized local actions in seven (7) cities—Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC—protesting the state sanctioned violence, harassment, and profiling that LGBTQ South Asians and Muslims have endured since 9/11. The awareness raising actions, entitled, “#QueerAzaadi,” featured:

  • community funerals to lift the names of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, trans women, African Americans, and undocumented immigrants killed in hate crimes this year;
  • storytelling speak-outs of LGBTQ Muslims and experiences of violence over the last 16 years; and
  • mock checkpoints targeting white people to replicate the profiling that South Asians, Muslims, and people of color experience at airports and in government buildings.

300 people participated in the actions that unveiled the interlocking systems of Islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and anti-blackness. More information about the actions can be found at  nqapia.org/queerazaadi.

“Trump’s series of Muslim Bans are not about keeping us safe.  For LGBTQ API communities, safety means eradicating borders for ALL of our families – given, chosen, and imagined. We will continue fight Trump’s Muslim Bans, anti-Trans bills, and all policies that criminalize our communities by building up our own power, strategy and resilience.” said Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director.


NQAPIA has also published the personal stories of LGBT Muslims and South Asian sharing their experiences of policing and profiling in writing at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-stories and in video at nqapia.org/redefinesecurity-videos.

* Maya Jafer, transgender Indian Muslim immigrant who shows that extensive security measures and vetting are already in place. Written and Video: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/uncovering-our-stories-maya-jafer/

* Sal Salam, gender-nonconforming Bangladeshi Muslim who felt harassed and separated from their husband upon re-entering the U.S. Video: https://youtu.be/9bxAo8BS9_4

* Sahar Shafqat, gender nonconforming Pakistani Muslim who was harassed by TSA.  Written: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/redefinesecurity-sahar-shafqat/

* Pia Ahmed’s sister ended up on the No Fly List as a teenager. Video: https://youtu.be/OewniH4Xflc?list=PLDc2t2P5kWWWUd0tWbr7IkBJ-CKo6Xxsj

* Pia Ahmed’s recounts watching their father get pulled out of line by TSA agents. Video: https://youtu.be/gXHR0YPx2RA

* Alina Bee, South Asian whose ethnic dress was invasively searched by TSA. Written: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/redefinesecurity-alina-bee/

* Joyti Chand, South Asian, but not Muslim, whose apartment was broken into by LA Police.  Written: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/redefinesecurity-jyoti-chand/

* Read Op-Ed by Sasha W., NQAPIA Organizing Director at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59b6c8ace4b0465f7588090b


The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a nationwide federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT API groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenges anti-LGBT bias and racism.

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