LGBT demonstrators were among the tens of thousands of immigrant reform activists who rallied outside the U.S. Capitol and in 30 cities around the nation Wednesday as a group of eight senators reached tentative agreement on a broad immigration bill.
When Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, addressed the crowd, (full statement below), she attempted to respond to those who suggest that immigration is not an LGBT issue:
From time to time, someone will ask me, a white lesbian: “What does immigration have to do with LGBT rights? Why are you spending your time on that issue?”
Here’s what I tell them, unequivocally: Immigration is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and human rights issue!
A great many immigrants are themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Take Esmeralda, a transgender Mexican woman who suffered horrific abuse for her gender identity while in immigration detention. Hers is among the terrifying stories shared by LGBT immigrants who experienced abuse because of their gender identity or sexual orientation AND their immigration status.
And, right now, countless binational same-sex couples are threatened with forced separation because they are blocked from sponsoring their partner for citizenship.