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Immigration, Discrimination Bills Return to Congress

Immigration, Discrimination Bills Return to Congress


Two key pieces of legislation to advance gay rights will be reintroduced in Congress Thursday.

A group of Democratic representatives will introduce the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow gay and lesbian Americans to sponsor their foreign partner or spouse to become U.S. citizens. New York representative Jerrold Nadler, who announced the move Wednesday, said passage of this legislation was overdue, and without it, many couples and families are torn apart. Among the sponsors are two of the four openly gay members of the House, Wisconsin 's Tammy Baldwin and Colorado's Jared Polis.

Vermont senator Patrick Leahy will introduce the companion bill in the Senate.

Also being reintroduced Thursday is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, by Republican senator Mark Kirk of Illinois and Oregon senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat. The bill would prohibit job discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Each bill has been introduced in previous sessions of Congress.

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