Gay activists fight for immigrant rights

As Congress debates sweeping new legislation on immigration reform, gay rights groups are banding together to fight for the rights of immigrants. "We are calling on LGBTQ immigrants and supporters to march together in a contingent [during Monday's Day for Immigrant Justice]," said Leslie Bulbuk (pictured), cofounder of the pro-gay immigration group Love Sees No Borders.

BY admin

April 08 2006 12:00 AM ET

As the U.S.
Senate adjourned Friday for a two-week break without passing
final legislation on immigration reform, gay and lesbian
immigrants and their supporters were planning rallies
and actions to raise awareness about the specific
struggles they face.

Many are taking
part in a planned "day for immigrant justice" on April
10 and a national immigrant strike on May 1. "We are calling
on LGBTQ immigrants and supporters to march together
in a contingent," said Leslie Bulbuk, cofounder of the
pro-gay immigration group Love Sees No Borders. "The
anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant rhetoric dehumanizes
people. LGBTQ immigrants are dehumanized not once, but
twice."

To show their
opposition to congressional immigration proposals, Bulbuk
was organizing a gay contingent for a planned immigrant
rights march in San Jose, Calif., as part of the April
10 event.

The gay
rights group Immigration Equality also has been chiming
in on the congressional efforts to stem illegal
immigration. "Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
immigrants and their families are uniquely
vulnerable," said executive director Rachel B. Tiven.
"Detaining more immigrants, with less judicial review,
will put the lives of innocent people at risk."

The group
recently joined a new coalition of 18 state and national gay
rights groups and community centers in calling for fair and
equal treatment of gay and lesbian immigrants by
Congress. "We all agree that our current immigration
system needs reform and share the concerns about
safety and security, but we believe reform can be
accomplished best through the vision articulated by
Cesar Chavez," a coalition statement read, "a vision
of a nation and a world where the values of liberty,
dignity, fairness, and justice occupy center stage; where
persecution, oppression, and discrimination are not
political tools that are proudly claimed, but instead,
are moral wrongs to be made right." (The
Advocate
)

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