To: Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Tell Senator Schumer: Protect LGBT Families in Immigration Bill
Publicly endorse the inclusion of LGBT protections in the immigration bill and include the principles of LGBT equality represented in the Uniting American Families Act in the original draft of the Immigration Bill.
Why is this important?
Dear Senator Schumer:
As New Yorkers and as leaders of diverse faiths and backgrounds, we write to you today with thanks and a reminder.
Senator Schumer, we acknowledge and applaud your sincere friendship with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over many years. You stood on the right side of history when it wasn’t as popular as it is today and no one will forget that.
Today, we call upon you to lead again by including equal protections for LGBT Americans and their families in comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
Same-sex bi-national couples should not be forced to choose between their love for America and their love for each other. These couples are our congregants, friends, and leaders in our communities. They are created in the image of God, just like all people, and should be protected as equals by the law.
As President Obama, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and so many others have said, LGBT Americans and their families deserve the dignity of the same family immigration rights as all other Americans. You have supported that cause, too, but at the moment, you have not made it clear that this important provision will be included in the original immigration legislation.
Not including LGBT protections in the original draft of the bill sends the wrong message and risks that those critical protections will not be included. It also sends the dangerous message that it is acceptable to continue to discriminate against certain groups of people and would be incredibly damaging to those who support LGBT rights and immigration reform.
The dignity of LGBT people, who we love and value, must not be traded behind the closed doors of legislative negotiations. They deserve a vigorous, public, and moral advocate in their U.S. Senator. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from Birmingham Jail, “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
We, the undersigned leaders in New York’s faith community, urge you to publicly endorse the inclusion of LGBT protections in the immigration bill and to include the principles of LGBT equality represented in the Uniting American Families Act in the first draft you are generating with your Senate colleagues.
This moment in history is an opportunity to cement your legacy as a champion for the civil rights of all Americans. This is God’s work. Please don’t let us, or our LGBT brothers and sisters, down.
This campaign is a partnership of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Empire State Pride Agenda, Auburn Seminary, and Groundswell.
How it will be delivered
During a meeting with Senator Schumer or his staff within the next 2 weeks.