FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2013
Media Contact: Heather Cronk, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-491-7240
GetEQUAL Places Blame for Failure of Uniting American Families Act at Sen. Schumer’s Doorstep
“Today it became clear that our so-called ‘friends’ don’t have the courage or the spine to stand up for what’s right”
WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the failure of Senator Patrick Leahy’s two amendments regarding same-sex binational couples to the immigration bill (S. 744) to pass out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, GetEQUAL — a national LGBT social justice organization — issued the following statement, attributable to Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, Co-Director:
“Let me be clear — Senators Schumer, Feinstein, and Durbin caved today to the bullying of extreme right-wing Republicans, rather than standing up for the LGBT binational couples they claim to care so deeply about. Today it became clear that our so-called ‘friends’ don’t have the courage or the spine to stand up for what’s right, and are content to buy into the false choice that Republicans created — holding a sorely-needed immigration bill hostage in order to cement inequality into law.
“I’m also outraged at Senator Dianne Feinstein’s unwarranted and ugly attacks against ending the arbitrary filing deadline for asylum that disproportionately impact LGBT asylum-seekers. Thankfully, Senator Feinstein’s attacks did not prevail, and that bar has been lifted in this bill.
“I hope that other leaders in the LGBT movement step up to publicly distance themselves from Senator Schumer for putting his political aspirations before the aspirations of same-sex binational couples across the country. As an undocumented gay man in a binational relationship, I mourn the lack of political courage that our elected leaders showed today — but I still cling to the dream of passing a bill that upholds and uplifts the aspirations of the 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants currently living, working, and loving within this country’s borders. As we have from the earliest days of this bill, we will fight for a clear and direct pathway to citizenship, we will fight for asylum-seekers, we will fight against mandatory and harsh employment requirements, and we will fight against cruel and unusual border enforcement.”
GetEQUAL is a national grassroots social justice organization whose mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information, go to www.getequal.org. You can also follow GetEQUAL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/getequal or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/getequal.