Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Via JMG: Breaking The Law For Love

The SF Weekly's Lauren Smiley has turned in a fascinating (and sad) profile of several gay couples who've been separated due to our nation's inequitable immigration laws. An excerpt:
Now that Arizona's "papers please" law has pushed immigration reform to Washington's front burner, Democrats propose allowing "permanent partners" to be treated the same as spouses under immigration law. While 19 countries have similar policies, it won't be an easy sell: The gay lobby fears they'll be sacrificed as a bargaining chip to get Republicans on board, while pro-immigrant groups worry that adding in gays will ruin any chance for reform for everyone else. While critics say letting permanent partners through the gate invites fraud — how do you validate the relationship without a marriage license? — others say the current system is what encourages people to cheat. So what do you do when the law won't permit you to be with the most meaningful person in your life? Simple. You break it.
Read the entire story.

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reposted from Joe

Via JMG: PhoboQuotable - Brian Brown

"Victory in California! With your help, NOM played a central role in defeating pro-gay marriage GOP Senate candidate Tom Campbell yesterday. Back in March, NOM was the first on the air with TV ads highlighting Tom Campbell's liberal record on gay marriage and taxes. In May, we came back with a wildly successful automated phone campaign to 600,000 GOP primary voters, letting them know where Tom Campbell stands on gay marriage.

"Gay marriage advocates used to brag that no politician had ever lost a race because of his (or her) support for same-sex marriage. Certainly political races involve many factors, and it's often difficult to pinpoint one particular factor leading to a political defeat. But today they can no longer make that claim with a straight face. Less than three years after NOM's founding, we have now seen race after race where a candidate's support for gay marriage was significant in leading to that candidate's defeat. Just ask Dede Scozzafava in New York. Or Jon Corzine and Loretta Weinberg in New Jersey. And now Tom Campbell in California, just to name a few." - NOM president Brian Brown, taking credit for Carly Fiorina's win in the GOP Senate primary, which apparently had nothing to do with her $5M in self-funded last minute ads.

RELATED: I just had to point out Brown's usage of "straight face." Snork!

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a repost from Joe

Highlights of Senator Boxer's Record on LGBT Issues

Download PDF version

California is one of the most diverse states in the country, and our diversity is one of our strengths. Senator Barbara Boxer has been a champion of freedom, equality and justice for all Americans.

  • Equality under the Law: Senator Boxer supported the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to expand the federal hate crimes law to cover sexual orientation. She has supported – and voted for – legislation to have the U.S. Department of Justice assist local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of crimes motivated by prejudice based on sexual orientation and to provide grants to local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
  • Equality in the Workplace: Senator Boxer is a long-time cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which protects gays and lesbians from discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
  • Equality in Marriage: Senator Boxer supports marriage equality and was an early opponent of Proposition 8. She was one of only 14 Senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. She has been vocal in her opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would enshrine discrimination against gays and lesbians into the federal Constitution.
  • Equality in the Military: Senator Boxer believes that gay men and lesbians should be able to serve their country openly in the military. In 1993, she authored the amendment in the Senate that would have stopped "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" from being written into law, and she continues to support efforts to overturn this discriminatory policy.
  • Equality in Benefits: Senator Boxer believes the federal government should treat the partners and spouses of all employees equally. She supports legislation to make all benefits, such as health and pension benefits, currently offered to the spouses of heterosexual federal employees available to the spouses and partners of all employees. In addition, she has cosponsored bipartisan legislation to allow domestic partners who receive employer-provided health benefits to be treated the same as spouses under federal tax law. She voted to allow the District of Columbia to fund programs to allow city employees to treat their domestic partners the same as married spouses. In December 2001, Senator Boxer urged the Department of Justice to rule that benefits for survivors of the September 11 terrorist attacks should not be limited to those who were legally married.
  • Equality in Immigration Law: Senator Boxer supports allowing Americans and permanent legal residents to sponsor their foreign-born domestic partners for legal residency in the United States. This would treat domestic partners the same as married spouses under immigration law.
  • Equality in Access to Public Facilities: In 2001, Senator Boxer offered an amendment to grant youth groups access to public school meeting facilities regardless of the group's views on sexual orientation. The Human Rights Campaign called the Boxer Amendment "a bold move to offset a previous anti-gay amendment offered by Sen. Jesse Helms."
  • Equality in Healthcare: For nearly 30 years, the LGBT community has been hit particularly hard with the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS. From the early days of the crisis when she was a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Boxer has been committed to fighting for increased funding for prevention, education, research, and housing for people with HIV and AIDS.
    • Senator Boxer is a long-time supporter of the Ryan White CARE Act that provides the largest federal investment in community-based HIV/AIDS health care services.. She has repeatedly supported the program's reauthorization and continues to press for the highest level of funding possible.
    • As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Boxer has been one the leaders in the Senate in the effort to fund international HIV/AIDS relief. She has introduced legislation to dramatically increase funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development's HIV/AIDS program, and she continues to push for greater funding.
    • When she was a member of the Senate Budget Committee in the 1990s, Senator Boxer supported efforts to double research funding at the National Institutes of Health, including funding for research into HIV/AIDS.
    • She supported legislation to allow states to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income HIV-infected individuals, even if they did not otherwise qualify for the Medicaid program.
Make the jump here to Senator Boxer's Website