GLAAD and other LGBT groups speak out on exclusion of gay binational couples from immigration reform

Today, GLAAD -- along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights,  National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, United We Dream and Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, Lambda Legal, Equality Federation and the National Center for Transgender Equality. – released a joint statement in response to the exclusion of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) from immigration reform:

We are disappointed that certain senators threatened the entire immigration reform bill simply because it affords 28,500 same-sex binational couples equal immigration rights. At the same time, we thank Senator Leahy for standing up for these families. A majority of Americans – 53 percent – believe that all consenting adults should have the right to get married and that gender should not play a role in who is considered family.

It is unconscionable that lawmakers committed to equality and commonsense, humane immigration policy were forced to make a false choice between protecting the rights of same-sex binational couples and keeping a tenuous coalition together. This take-it-or-leave-it stance with regard to same-sex binational couples is not helpful when we all share the same goal of passing comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship.

In addition, the groups affirmed continued support for changes to the immigration bill that will make a pathway to citizenship more accessible for  all 11 million undocumented immigrants (267,000 of whom LGBT), as well as an ardent opposition to draconian amendments that would make immigrants permanent second-class citizens and create undue hardships along a pathway to citizenship.

“Our primary goal is to pass a commonsense, compassionate immigration reform bill that puts our nation’s undocumented men, women and children on a pathway to citizenship.

We desperately need to reform our broken immigration system immediately because it dehumanizes, scapegoats and vilifies all immigrants, including LGBT immigrants.

Every day we fail to reform our system, 1,100 families are torn apart. As a nation, we pride ourselves on keeping families united, and our immigration policies should reflect our commitment to keep families together – all families.

For more information about GLAAD and LGBT groups' work on immigration reform, click here.