Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Gutierrez Bill, Immigration Reform and Our Families

crossposted from the Immigration Equality Blog

Earlier today, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced an immigration reform proposal in the House of Representatives that does not include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families. We pushed hard for inclusion in this bill, and we are deeply disappointed. However, I want to be clear: this is not the comprehensive immigration reform package which will move through the House. And, there are many reasons to remain optimistic about our inclusion in CIR down the road.

First, it is important to note that Congressman Gutierrez remains a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and the LGBT-inclusive Reuniting Families Act (RFA) in Congress. In the weeks and months leading up to the introduction of the Gutierrez bill, Immigration Equality pushed for inclusion of our families. When it became clear that this was not to be, we asked for the Congressman to continue to work for an end to immigration laws that discriminate against LGBT families, and we have every expectation that he will do so.

Second, this bill is not the large-scale, comprehensive immigration reform bill that is expected in Congress early next year. That bill is currently being written, and a number of our champions – including Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Congressman Mike Honda and Senator Patrick Leahy – continue to work to ensure that bill includes our families.

Third, some LGBT families will benefit from other provisions in this bill: for starters, those who have fallen out of status because they cannot be sponsored by their partners; LGBT detainees, who are too often victimized and discriminated against under our current system; those who need a path to citizenship in order to keep their family intact; and queer teenagers who have grown up and come out in this country but who have no future without a change in the law.

Immigration Equality will not rest until Congress passes LGBT-inclusive immigration reform. We continue to push – every day – for passage of the Uniting American Families Act, the Reuniting Families Act and every other possible victory for our families. Our strategy has been – and remains – to pursue every available avenue for success.

The bill introduced today is, for all of us, disappointing. But the immediate future remains hopeful. There are many more steps on our journey together – and in the Congressional process – and we remain confident that, in the end, our champions will stand with us, and immigration reform will include our families, too.
read on

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Meditation on AIDS and Silences

Though World AIDS Day ended a week ago, there's no end to the ways that the disease, treatments, and policies have affected our communities. And there are silences around HIV/AIDS that the LGBT communities have yet to break. From Federation member,Gunner Scott ED of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. read on

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

International AIDS Day

Tennessee Equality Project highlights Secretary of State Clinton's speech. She identifies discrimination as a major barrier to HIV treatment.

Empire State Pride Agenda does their morning sweep.

Equality Florida posts the President's Proclamation on World AIDS Day.

And Indiana Equality asks you to go shopping for equality. read on