Via the Washington Blade:
Despite anger with three gay and bisexual U.S. House members for voting with Republicans to block Syrian refugees from entering the United States, the head of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund says the organization won’t drop support for the lawmakers in the upcoming election.
Well, that’s big of her.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who’s gay; Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who’s gay, and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who’s bisexual, were among the 47 House Democrats who voted for the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, or H.R. 4038, which passed the Republican-controlled U.S. House last week. The bill would expand background checks on Iraqi and Syrian refugees hoping to enter the United States, but critics say the legislation would have the effect of barring them entirely.
So, the lead is actually misleading, since the measure will only “block Syrian refugees from entering the United States” if you uncritically accept the critics’ viewpoint.
Some LGBT advocates rebuked Polis, Maloney and Sinema for their “yes” votes, arguing members of the LGBT community should support another community facing persecution. Among those critics is Michelangelo Signorile, a New York-based LGBT advocate who said on his Facebook page the votes are “totally shameful” and the Victory Fund “should dump” the three lawmakers.
“Equality should be litmus test of anyone in ‘LGBT Equality Caucus’ in Congress,” Signorile said. “And realize that these individuals voted against desperate LGBT Syrian refugees — there was hope 500 of the refugee spaces would be set aside for them.”
What universe do LGBT progressives like Signorile live in that they seriously think 500 spots were going to be designated for LGBT Syrian refugees?
The debate of refugee acceptance isn’t black and white, and that’s especially true regarding disagreements about the level of scrutiny refugees should undergo. Also, polls have shown that immigrants from Muslim countries are heavily homophobic in their attitudes—that’s simply a fact, as noted here, and here, for instance.
That’s not to say the U.S. shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees, but the issue isn’t as simplistic as demagogues on both the progressive left and the anti-immigrant right are convinced it is.
More. As a coda, the Washington Post reports Gay asylum seekers face threat from fellow refugees in Europe:
What followed over the next several weeks, though, was abuse — both verbal and physical — from other refugees, including an attempt to burn Ktifan’s feet in the middle of the night. The harassment ultimately became so severe that he and two other openly gay asylum seekers were removed from the refugee center with the aid of a local gay activist group and placed in separate accommodations across town..