GLN to Join Huge Immigrant Rights March On Monday, May 1st
Continuing our solidarity tradition of actively supporting other groups that face discrimination and hate, the Gay Liberation Network will have a contingent in the Monday, May 1st march for immigrant rights. We will be marching under a large purple banner reading "Lesbians & Gays SUPPORT Immigrant Rights" and will be meeting at the Division/Milwaukee/Ashland "triangle" in Chicago at 9:45 AM that day. We invite you to join us (call 773.209.1187 for more info -- this number can also be used for meeting up with us that day if you have trouble finding us).
Besides the obvious fact that many LGBT people are also immigrants, there are many people in our community who are part of so-called "bi-national couples," that is, couples where one member is from another country, and often under constant threat of being broken up due to deportation.
When a GLN member participated in the coast-to-coast "Marriage Equality Caravan" a few summers ago, he reported that several of the others on the bus were part of bi-national couples, working for both equal marriage rights and true immigration reform through such measures as the "Uniting American Families Act" (http://www.immigrationequality.org/template.php?pageid=151, previously known as the "Permanent Partner Immigration Act") which allow same-sex couples to get the same immigration rights that heterosexual married couples have.
Another reason, beyond basic solidarity, that genuine immigration reform is important to LGBT people is the issue of asylum for our brothers and sisters emigrating from countries where they face greater levels of discrimination, social ostracism and violence.
As things stand now, the United States' notoriously stingy asylum laws are only occasionally helpful to LGBT people fleeing persecution from abroad. Worse, the U.S. arms and coddles notoriously anti-gay regimes in places like Poland, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, and for "king maker" in U.S.-occupied Iraq, it is courting Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who recently issued a fatwa calling for calling killing all gay people. On the domestic side, it is no accident that some of our most vocal opponents, such as the Illinois Family Institute, are closely allied with anti-immigrant, anti-gay bigots like the failed gubernatorial candidate Jim Oberweis.
A gain for the immigrant rights movement will be a gain for all progressive movements, including our movement for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered freedom. Please join our solidarity contingent at 9:45 AM, Monday, May 1st at the intersection of Division, Milwaukee and Ashland. For more information or to find us on the day of the event, call 773.209.1187.