Senator Is First Republican to Back LGBT Immigration Bill
BY Lucas Grindley
September 21 2012 3:44 PM ET
Sen. Susan Collins has become the first Republican to co-sponsor a bill that ends discrimination against same-sex couples in immigration deportation cases.
The Uniting American Families Act allows gays and lesbians to sponsor their same-sex spouse for citizenship. Now they are often forced to leave the country or split up.
The Human Rights Campaign points out that the senator from Maine is often on the side of LGBT equality and has co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, and a bill that extends domestic partnership benefits to federal workers. And HRC held a reception for Collins last year to celebrate her role in repealing "don't ask, don't tell."
Activists hope Collins proves this is an issue where bipartisanship is possible. Immigration Equality leaders, in a comment to the Washington Blade, boasts a coalition of 25 Fortune 500 companies that talk frequently to Republican offices about the business implications of the bad policy.
“This is a bipartisan issue," Rachel Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality, told the Blade. “It really crosses all boundaries because if talented people have to leave the country because of immigration discrimination against LGBT families, that’s a loss for everybody.”
Collins framed it as an issue about fairness in her statement announcing support.
“This legislation would simply update our nation’s immigration laws to treat bi-national couples equally,” said Collins. “More than two dozen countries recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes. This important civil rights legislation would help prevent committed, loving families from being forced to choose between leaving their family or leaving their country.”
- R&B Singer Monifah Carter Talks About Her Journey as a Lesbian in the Music Industry
- Meet the 2013 Point Foundation Scholars
- Filipino Archbishop Says Gay Men and Lesbians Can Marry — Each Other
- PHOTOS: Marry Me in Maine
- Advocate.com | Gay News | The Advocate | The World's Leading Source for LGBT News and Entertainment
- Op-ed: How Animated Shows Like Futurama Can Unite Us All
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Entertainment News Muscle Worship: Meet the Men of L.A.'s New Gay Strip Club 54 min 59 sec ago
- Religion Filipino Archbishop Says Gay Men and Lesbians Can Marry — Each Other 2 hours 43 min ago
- Travel Drag Racing in Jerusalem 7:20 PM
- Crime Police Seek Suspects Who Vandalized Chick-fil-A With Antigay Slurs 7:18 PM
- Women Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King Among First Inductees to Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame 6:51 PM
- Entertainment News Dolce & Gabbana Sentenced To Jail 6:20 PM
- Politicians President Obama Adresses LGBT Rights in Berlin Speech 4:59 PM