LGBTs denounce Arizona immigration law

LGBT groups and public figures are speaking out against the draconian
immigration law enacted in Arizona on April 23.

The statute requires police to check an individual’s immigration status
whenever an officer suspects an individual may be in the U.S. illegally.
The law has been dubbed, “Papers, please.”

Newly out singer Ricky Martin denounced the law April 29 at the Billboard
Latin Music Awards.

“This is not in the script,” Martin said. “I want to send a warm greeting
to all our Latin American friends who live in the state of Arizona. The SB
1070 is a law that doesn’t make sense. You are not alone. We are with you.
Stop discrimination. Stop hate. Stop racism. Enough already. Long live
love. Long live peace.”

Lambda Legal took aim at the law in an April 30 statement.

“As we pursue our lawsuit against the state of Arizona for its elimination
of health insurance benefits for the partners of its lesbian and gay
employees, we condemn the state government’s further manifestation of bias
in its new immigration law,” said Executive Director Kevin Cathcart.

He added: “LGBT undocumented immigrants are among the most invisible of
the invisible. Many inhabit a double closet, afraid of disclosing their
sexual orientation and/or gender identity and afraid of disclosing that
they are undocumented.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force also denounced the law.

“Arizona’s new immigration law is draconian and inhumane,” said Executive
Director Rea Carey. “It has no place on the books anywhere. The potential
for racial profiling, infringement of civil liberties, and violence and
harassment against individuals and their families just going about their
daily lives is enormous. Comprehensive immigration reform is critically
needed, but targeting and demonizing people is not the answer; stripping
people of fundamental rights and common humanity is not the answer. Our
political leaders must work toward reform that is fair and humane. This
law is neither. It is a cruel, quick fix that demeans our country’s values
of freedom, justice and equality.”

In San Francisco, gay supervisors David Campos and Bevan Dufty are
supporting a Board of Supervisors resolution calling for a city boycott of
Arizona and businesses based there.

“We in the LGBT community know what it’s like to be the target of
discrimination, and we have to stand firmly in support of other groups
that are also impacted by discrimination,” Campos, who introduced the
resolution, told the Bay Area Reporter. “I think that’s the only way all
of us collectively are going to have full rights and full equality, if we
make a point of standing together when one group is targeted.”

Campos called the law “horrendous” and said “people of good conscience”
need to “speak up.”

Leading gay news blogger Andy Towle ( called the law
“heinous” and noted that Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the immigration law,
also took away domestic-partner benefits for state employees, which had
been extended by the previous administration.

Leading gay blogger Joe Jervis (Joe. My. God.) called the law “racist,”
and top gay blogger Andrew Sullivan said: “A society where one minority
feels under surveillance is not a truly free society. This is beneath
America, in my view.”

by Rex Wockner


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