FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 5, 2006
The Following Statement Was Adopted By The Undersigned LGBT and Allied Organizations:
(San Francisco, CA, April 5, 2006) — Like most American communities, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is a diverse community, made richer and stronger by the admixture of genders, races, nationalities, gender expressions, faiths, ages, and political ideologies. We are Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific-Islanders, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Anglos; youth, middle-aged, and seniors; parents, couples and singles; Christians, Jews, Muslims and agnostics; liberals, moderates and conservatives; men, women, transgendered, and are richer, smarter and stronger because of the contribution of each. And, like all communities we struggle within that complex tapestry to continue to acknowledge and respect each other in our larger struggle toward dignity and equality for all.
Sadly, we have recently witnessed yet another disheartening, divisive battle in our seemingly endless "culture wars". Once again some of our countries' most vulnerable have become a convenient political scapegoat and target for those seeking favor among the ultra-conservative right.
In California, as we prepared to celebrate the life, vision and leadership of Cesar Chavez, we were astonished to see some in the US House of Representatives endorse the most draconian political measures targeting the immigrant community in 80 years. Measures whose motives are not reform, safety or fairness, but instead proposals to make felons of hard-working immigrants who staff our factories and fields, who cook for us and care for our children, who seek enough resources to care for their parents and families. Proposals that seek to criminalize the churches and charities that reach out to help immigrants who are cold, hungry or suffering. Proposals that encourage racism, isolationism and the abandonment of our most fundamental American values: hope, fairness, humanity, equal treatment and mercy.
We all agree that our current immigration system needs reform and share the concerns about safety and security, but we believe reform can be accomplished best through the vision articulated by Cesar Chavez.; a vision of a nation and a world where the values of liberty, dignity, fairness and justice occupy center stage. Where persecution, oppression and discrimination are not political tools that are proudly claimed, but instead, are moral wrongs to be made right.
We share that vision. And we will continue to struggle toward that time when the 12 million undocumented workers who contribute, who give their energy, their time, their faith and their resources to the rest of us, can be provided with a rational and humane immigration policy. We stand with our immigrant community in insisting that a policy that can provide all of us with safety and that can offer a fair, realistic opportunity for citizenship is possible. We also hope that any immigration reform that is achieved protects the civil rights and civil liberties of all immigrants and offers due process protections, so that all Americans benefit from our core democratic principles of fairness and equality.
We continue to believe in the vision of Chavez, in the hope offered by Martin Luther King, and in the dream that is American democracy: a nation in which all people and all immigrants- regardless of national origin, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status-can live with safety, dignity, and fairness.
- Dale Kelly Bankhead, Equality for All
- Jeff Bissiri, Log Cabin Republicans
- Heather Carrigan, ACLU of Southern California
- Oscar De La O, Bienestar
- Rabbi Denise Eger, California Faith for Equality
- Maya Harris, ACLU of Northern California
- Delores Jacobs, The San Diego LGBT Community Center
- Lorri L. Jean, The Los Angles Gay and Lesbian Center
- Kate Kendell, The National Center for Lesbian Rights
- Geoff Kors, Equality California
- Corri Planck, Family Pride
- Francine Ramsey, Zuna Institute
- Rev. Neil Thomas, California Faith for Equality
- Samuel Thoron, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
- Karin Wang, Asian American/Pacific Islander (API) Equality - Los Angeles
- Andy Shie Kee Wong, Asian Equality
- Luna Yasui, CAA | Chinese for Affirmative Action/Center for Asian American Advocacy
- Thalia Zepatos, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.