On Dec 8, 2015 Washington Blade reported: Amid reports of violence targeting LGBT people committed by the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria, the White House said Tuesday it won’t set aside a specific number of slots for LGBT Syrian refugees, but will make cases of persecution like the kind faced by LGBT people a priority for asylum.
White House Press Josh Earnest explained the administration’s position in response to a question from the Washington Blade following President Obama’s speech in the Oval Office on Sunday focusing on the nation’s commitment to dismantle ISIS. In the address, Obama called ISIS “thugs and killers” and called the organization “part of a cult of death.”
Speaking generally about the widely reported atrocities committed by ISIS, Earnest said the tactics of the terrorist group “have shown a callous disregard for basic human rights.”
“And it is certainly no secret that there are a variety of ways in which they offend those basic rights and trample those rights,” Earnest said. “That’s one of the reasons the president has mobilized such a strong international coalition to destroy them.”
Earnest also rejected calls to set aside 500 slots for LGBT people among the anticipated additional 10,000 incoming refugees Obama has pledged to accommodate from Syria. Instead, he said the administration would make cases of individuals “deemed to be the most vulnerable” a priority.