There are many reasons why Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans (LGBT) people should support immigrant rights, from the desire to support others who are facing hate and discrimination, to achieving reforms crucial to the LGBT community itself:
** It is in the direct interest of LGBT people to demand the reform of asylum laws so that gay people fleeing vicious repression abroad can find a safe haven in the U.S. It is particularly incumbent upon U.S. gays to support this right since so many of the brutal, undemocratic regimes which persecute our people are supported by the U.S. government.
** Many Lesbians and Gays are in bi-national relationships where one partner is a U.S. citizen and the other is a foreign national. Unlike heterosexual couples, we can't sponsor our spouses for naturalization. Currently none of the presidential candidates support the "Uniting American Families Act," which would end this particular form of discrimination against LGBT people.
** The U.S. is one of only 13 countries that prohibit HIV+ people from immigrating into it. True immigration reform would include ending this discrimination against HIV+ people.
Many commentators brand undocumented immigrants as "illegal," but the label misses the point. Are the laws themselves moral?
It wasn't too many years ago that gays were considered "illegal" until the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision "legalized" us. Jim Crow racism was "legal" for the vast bulk of U.S. history, as were prohibitions against equality for women and many minorities.
Rather than accepting labels at face value, the LGBT coalition organizing for the May 1st march says we need to support reforms which support human equality, such as the legalization of the undocumented. These reforms of unjust laws would serve the humanitarian interests of people who, like the LGBT community, have been the targets of hate and discrimination.
Here are the details about the march & the LGBT contingent:
** The opening rally begins at 10 AM, Thursday, May 1st in Union Park, near the corner of Lake Street and Ashland Avenue.
** The LGBT contingent will assemble at 11 AM in the Park just look for the Rainbow Flags!!
** The march will step off at 12 noon and go to Federal Plaza (Adams & Dearborn) for a second rally.
For more information, contact the Gay Liberation Network by email at LGBTliberation@aol.com