By Melanie Nathan, San Francisco, February 3, 2010 : Binationals and activists have been waiting patiently for Senator Chuck Schumer to introduce the enigmatic Immigration reform bill, and the LGBT binational community, whether in exile, living apart or hiding in fear, has been desperate for the answer. Will immigration reform be truly comprehensive; will it include (UAFA) a provision that will allow for LGBT Americans (citizens or lawful residents) to sponsor their spouses (Permanent Partners) for immigration to the USA?
Have you ever wondered why a long silence actually starts to sound like a deafening noise? It is now that the silence from Senator Schumer is deafening, with the shocking revelation from a reliable source informing us at Lezgetreal that Senator Schumer will not be including UAFA or LGBT rights in his immigration reform bill to be introduced in the weeks ahead.
Coincidentally in New York tonight, the NYCLU Advocacy Director, Udi Ofer, lead the continuing Civil Liberties Discussion Series where he provided an overview of the civil rights and civil liberties priorities within comprehensive immigration reform and the prospects for reform in Congress this year. The audience was asked to do everything possible to alert Senator Schumer to the binational plight and that anything short of 100 % inclusion in comprehensive immigration reform, would be completely unacceptable. The discussion predicted that the Senator would choose the easiest path to reform legislation, and I imagine that excluding the LGBT community is perceived as the path of least resistance.
Current law precludes LGBT couples from sponsoring spouses for immigration. Many tens of thousands of LGBT families are caught in the quagmire of an anomaly created by the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, which pits State law against the Federal law, giving couples the right to marry in certain States and then denying the American spouse the (equal) right to sponsor her/his same-sex spouse under the existing immigration laws.
If you are as outraged by this as I am, then you MUST stand up now, take action and start asking questions. Tomorrow is too late – today is critical. Get Senator Schumer to stand by his words before he releases that Bill.
The first thing you can do is flood the Senators phone line and demand that comprehensive immigration reform include us all.
While I am tempted to my usual finger pointing, I refrain and instead in the spirit of the unique all inclusive grass root C=IIR Campaign, which was announced in my earlier blog by on this site, I encourage all who are outraged by this news to support this plan as the only current option to lead to our inclusion in CIR or to the passage of UAFA as a stand -alone bill. I see the C=IIR Campaign as providing the ultimate forum – where grassroots and organizations can pull together to finally bring about the change we need to the egregious impact rendered by DOMA on the inherent immigration rights of LGBT married spouses and partners. 1 *
There are those of us who while suspended at the roots of the grass; seek truth and we do not understand why we are expected to wait for matters so integral to our very existence, to unfold. Taking matters into our own hands is imperative at this time. There are about five binational couples who are at grave risk but bravely planning on coming out to announce their stories. These courageous foot soldiers need to see our entire community stand up for them. Our protest is our applause and our protest MUST be productive.
So I ask, Senator Schumer as you ARE not going to include us in CIR NOW, then come face us directly and tell us what your plan is so we can pursue our interests in ways that makes sense to us, be it protests, boycotts, advocacy! Tell us what your motivation is – an advocate for our inclusion who fails to include us makes no sense at all. To hide behind tactics and strategies does not serve those of us who are willing to risk all by our visibility. So now that we have heard that we will not be included – through sources, please allow us to suffer the news from you Sir.
Video - On You Tube by – inlookingout; June 03, 2009.
Senator Chuck Schumer provides statement at the Senate hearings for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)
I quote from the ACLU website:
“The Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights and civil liberties of every person in this country. Upholding the rights of the politically disenfranchised is vital; when the government has the power to deny legal rights and due process to one group of people, it puts all our rights in danger.”
Copyright Melanie Nathan & Lezgetreal, 2010, All Rights Reserved©; Permission granted for Re-blog- with credit to
“ Article by – Melanie Nathan of www.Lezgetreal.com “
U P D A T E ;
Sen. Charles Schumer’s standing among New York state voters continues to slide, falling below 50 percent for the first time in nine years.
According to the latest Marist poll in New York, 47 percent of registered voters statewide said New York’s senior senator is doing either an excellent or good job in office while 31 percent said his job performance was fair, and 17 percent view him as performing poorly.
Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, based in Poughkeepsie, said this is Schumer’s lowest job approval rating since April 2001 when 49 percent of voters approved of the job he was doing. SEE ; http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/stories/2010/02/01/daily13.html