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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 30, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 18
LGBTs denounce Arizona immigration law
Section One
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LGBTs denounce Arizona immigration law

by Rex Wockner 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 (Towleroad.com) 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."

Assistance: Bill Kelley

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