Today, together with Gina Capiro, I had the great honor of providing testimony on behalf of the thousands of binational same-sex partners, for Resolution AJR 15 which in essence will serve to provide California‘s legislature’s support of the Uniting American Families Act and equality in the immigration laws of the US, for same-sex permanent partners.
A victory for our issue and at the same time a lesson in the divisiveness of ‘party-lines.’ It was astounding to witness; to tell the personal story of my family’s hardship with this inequality, about how I was faced with a possible choice between my two daughters, because I could not petition for my same-sex spouse to remain in the US in the same was a straight American could; and then to hear the Republican’s, “nay” regardless of the hardship to their fellow Americans. They just did not care about the 36,000 binational couples out there – !
In fact one of the members of the Committee Jeff Miller- (R- 71st Assembly District, which takes in much of Western Riverside County and the Eastern edge of Orange County,) stated that he wanted everyone to know why he was voting ‘no’ on all three LGBT Resolutions in the committee. He was doing it because he said that “California has decided ….” Referring to Prop 8; of course did not end his sentence; the incomplete implication – ‘California has decided that gays do not count – their families and their de facto lives are invalid. ‘ He then went on to say, how his constituents and the rest who believe in the Defense of Marriage Act would be and I quote “hurt” if gays were recognized in this way. In piecing his statement together, I think he was referring to a “NOTION” – the notion of marriage being between one man and one woman – if that were undermined then his constituents would be hurt. Well – it was clear to me -that the gentleman, who by the way also has two daughters – mmm wonder what he would feel if he had to choose between them?) was in absolute lock-step; no compassion, no heart, just the “PARTY.” Need I say more?
Shows pure ignorance on the issue – UAFA is legislation that has nothing to do with marriage per se; if anything it will grant a special right in recognition of DOMA as a restriction to LGBT ability to Petition under the immigration Law.
So thanks to the Author and co sponsors of AJR 15, and to Alice Kessler of EQCA for her amazing work. We are really lucky to have her doing what she does for us. Seeing her in action today on three issues, I can only imagine all the work that must have gone into the day. Also to Amos for of Out4Immigration who had much to do with promoting the authoring of this Resolution and to Gina for her very moving testimony and the volunteer work she does for our community. Also thanks to Out4Immigration for all their work fighting forequality in immigration.
Letters received today – from Amos Lim to Out4Immigration Members and Alice Kessler, EQCA:-
I just wanted to report to our friends on the listserv that AJR 15 passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee this morning by a 6-3 party line vote!
I want to especially thank Melanie, Gina and Amos for coming to the hearing in person. Your stories were courageous and compelling, and a good reminder of why we keep fighting the good fight. Hopefully we’ll soon move our nation’s discriminatory immigration laws into the dustbin of history.
Thanks again for your inspiring work!
Government Affairs Director
Equality California :: Equality California Institute
Find out more about EQCA’s current legislation
From Amos Lim:
I just came back from Sacramento to attend the California Assembly Judiciary
Committee hearing and to show that Out4Immigration supports Assembly
Joint Resolution 15 which puts CA on record as supporting the passage
of Uniting American Families Act as well as supporting the inclusion
of UAFA in Reuniting Families Act.
The judiciary committee heard the testimony of Gina Capiro, who
actually just landed on US soil this morning at 2am with her partner,
and Melanie Nathan. The committee also heard comments from
organizations in support of the bill, which included EQCA (Equality
California – the sponsor of the bill), AACRE (Asian American for Civil
Rights and Equality), California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC),
Out4Immigration and a few other organizations.
There were 4 resolutions being heard today and 3 of them are LGBT
bills. Of the 3 LGBT bills, one of them is to remove the ban on gay
man donating blood, the second is Supporting the passage of UAFA and
the third is urging congress to repeal DOMA.
We have very positive feedback from the Democrats on the judiciary
committee and Gina’s and Melanie’s testimony was so compelling that
when all the witnesses spoke in support of the bill (there were no
opposition organization present), Assemblyman Davy Jones just
indicated that the story breaks his heart and it is wrong for the
government to do this to same sex couples and he immediately ask for
the committee to vote for the bill and send it to the floor.
The vote was 6 – 3, and the 3 who objected were all Republicans. No
The joint resolutions will be send to the floor for a vote soon and we
are sure it will passed. The next step is to have the senate take up
the same resolution and pass it.
It is therefore important now to get more organizations to support
this resolution and have them send in a letter of support. If you
want to help us get more organizations to write letter of support,
please contact me at email@example.com
Many thanks to Gina for braving little sleep and for providing such a
touching testimony about the struggles she and her partner are going
through… Thanks to Melanie too for her testimony and for her work
on this issue.
Amos Lim, Treasurer & Founding Board Member
415.742.1626 (new number)