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.