A statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.

(San Francisco, CA, April 26, 2010)  — Today the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) released a statement strongly condemning the passage of Arizona’s “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” (SB 1070). The new law would require law enforcement officials to stop people whom they believe are in the U.S. illegally and demand proof of their immigration status. Under the law, it would be a misdemeanor if stopped without carrying immigration papers and also would allow Arizona residents to sue local law enforcement agencies if they believe SB 1070 is not being enforced. In addition to the widespread condemnation of the bill by civil rights organizations, President Obama has called the measure “misguided” and that it threatened “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

A statement from Kate Kendell, Esq., Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

“Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has tarnished her leadership and the state of Arizona. By signing a bill that empowers police offices to accost any person and demand proof of legal residence, Brewer has effectively turned Arizona into a police state in which it will be open season on any person who stands out as different–whether based on their race, sexual orientation, or any other arbitrary factor. This new law is a perfect example of what happens when public officials and legislators act based on short-sighted animosity toward one segment of our community–in this case, undocumented immigrants. The result is to erode freedom for all and to undermine the most basic principles of our democracy. This law is an outrageous violation of the right to privacy and equal protection, and we strongly support efforts to challenge its constitutionality.”

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.