May 22, 2013 – Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee chose to exclude same-sex bi-national couples from legislation reforming the U.S. immigration system. Due to lack of support and threatened opposition, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) withdrew his amendment that would have allowed LGBT American citizens to sponsor their foreign-born legal spouses for citizenship, a benefit long afforded to opposite-sex married couples. It would have corrected a wrong that needlessly divides American families and tears husbands, wives, and parents away from their loved ones each day. Rev. Pat Bumgardner, the Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute, issued the following statement:
“There, indeed, is room for all. Whether we were brought here forcefully, of our own free will, or otherwise, we all call this country home. As people of faith, we see the innate humanity in all immigrants. We stand with them as members of our human family. We will not accept any system of power that seeks to divide us from one another, especially our most vulnerable. For these reasons, we express our grave disappointment in our elected leaders in the U.S. Senate for willfully excluding same-sex bi-national families from immigration reform efforts they have underway. As a nation, we are always stronger together. Those who would divide us, those who would leave anyone behind should be ashamed for not living up to the ideals our nation professes. Senators who promised to undermine attempts to pass truly comprehensive immigration reform and those who bowed to their vows are simply wrong and subject themselves to the wrong set of values.”
“We will continue to work with the broad coalition of immigration reform partners, grassroots activists, and our elected officials to ensure that bi-national same-sex couples, along with all other immigrants (regardless of their legal status) are included in the bill as it heads to the full Senate. We call on all our allies in the Senate to join us.”
For more information on the work of the Global Justice Institute and Metropolitan Community Churches and comprehensive immigration reform, see “No Strangers to God: A Call for Sensible Immigration Reform that Supports and Reunites Families.” http://mccchurch.org/no-strangers-to-god-a-call-for-sensible-immigration-reform-that-supports-and-reunites-families/
For more information, contact Rev. DeWayne Davis at email@example.com
This statement prepared by Kareem Murphy on behalf of the Public Policy Team,
Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute.