UAFA Needs A Boost

Chris Crain has extensively documented his difficulties in maintaining a bi-national gay relationship.  American immigration laws are extremely prohibitive when it comes to gay couples–so much so that Chris has moved out of the USA to be with the man he loves. 

Other binational gay couples have also moved abroad, as it seems to be the simplest, if not always the safest, solution.  Some of their stories can be found here

Maple Palm, a movie that vividly demonstrates the abhorrent situations gay and lesbian Americans in bi-national relationships must endure, is now available on DVD. 

So why am I pimping this movie?  Well, I’m hoping it can help change some minds. 

This is something that we can change if we all get off of our dead ASSES and do something proactive for a change.  Instead of getting worked up about fashion, who is or isn’t “bitchy enough,” what Rosie is doing next, or complaining that the latest vapid reality tv show is “underrepresenting gays,” how about doing something that really matters?  Sure, you bitch and moan about how unfair life is for gay people, but do you contact your Senators or Representatives?  Do so NOW. 

In May of this year, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and my Senator, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), introduced the Uniting American Families Act, which would enable American Citizen partners in same-sex relationships to sponsor their partners for permanent residency in the United States.  As of yet, not very many in the House and Senate have signed on to this bill.  Make your voice heard and tell them to pass the damned thing. 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “UAFA Needs A Boost

  1. While this specific issue is an important one, I typically don’t bitch and groan about how unfair life is for gay people. At least, not the gay people here in California. Life’s pretty sweet in the Golden State.

    Everyone here whines about how we’re so “behind” Europe. I think it’s a bunch of bull, quite frankly. Ever been to Italy? Or Poland? You’ll meet some of the most rabidly anti-gay people on earth in those countries.

    As for those so-called pro-gay European countries (Germany, France, Sweden, UK), most have civil unions/domestic partnerships, not full blown gay marriage. Well, gee, 1/5th of the states in America have that too.

    You want to see some real oppression, go to any of the Muslim countries.

  2. Oh, I agree, John. I live in Vermont, and we have it fairly well off up here.

    But the release of this movie offers a chance to expose more people who are ignorant of this imbalance to gain a further understanding, and makes right now a good time to stress the UAFA.

    Which would, obviously, help American partners to get their loved ones out of Poland, Iran, Egypt, etc.

  3. Jamie, I think there are enough votes to pass this bill. Certainly, there is sufficient support in the House. And unless the GOP filibusters it, it can probably squeak through the Senate as well.

    The problem is George W. Bush. He’s going to veto it. I mean…DUH.

    Conservative gay bloggers and LCR can pretend otherwise with their “Bush is very open minded” talking points (yeah, and I’m Mickey Mouse)… but the rest of us know what the outcome will be.

    This is the man who last week threatened to veto Washington DC’s annual budget over domestic partnership benefits. This is the man who has threatened to veto ENDA because it “discriminates against religion.” This is the man who will veto the Matthew Shepard Act the minute it reaches his desk, according to the WH.

    Can we please just call him what he is?

  4. Hmm. “So-called pro-gay”? The British government offers me identical legal status to a married heterosexual couple, everything but the word ‘marriage’ itself and that’s something I can happily live without. Considering the present mess that the immigration system is in here when I leave this country on expiration of my visa I will also be leaving my relationship.

  5. Yet, just last week, a bishop within your “established” religion, who is on the payroll of the state (and therefore, subsidized by your taxes), can get away with making comments that puts him in league with the likes of Pat Robertson:

    http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/07/070107bishop.htm

    In terms of anti-gay violence, Europe is getting worse rather than better. As anyone who has been to London, Amsterdam, Paris, or Berlin recently will tell you…it is no longer safe for gay couples in those cities to walk the streets hand-in-hand. Certainly, part of it has to do with *your* immigration policies. The resurgent right-wing and the radically anti-gay folks you bring in are two peas in the same pod. They may “oppose” each other in principle, but guess what, they also feed off each other. If one weakens, so does the other.

    Until 2003, your central government had a law that gagged teachers from even mentioning homosexuality. We never had such a law here because the states exercise sovereignty over these matters.

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/Ukpga_19880009_en_5.htm

    The 1967 European Convention on Adoption forbids gay adoption (in all cases, not just as couples), and your government did not withdraw from that treaty until 2002. In contrast, only 3 American states (Utah, Mississippi, and Florida) has ever banned single gays from adopting children.

    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/05/22/uk.adoption/index.html

    In terms of partnership rights, according to your own government in 2005, several American states have laws that are considered equal to a UK Civil Partnership. And with the flurry of activity in the U.S. in the last two years, that list will almost certainly grow:

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20053135.htm

    Those 37 U.S. states that repealed their sodomy laws before Lawrence v Texas, starting with Illinois in 1962, they actually r-e-p-e-a-l-e-d them. Unlike a certain Parliament, they didn’t say:

    “OK, you can have sex, but gays’ age of consent is 21, nobody else can be present, no group sex, no kinky stuff like S/M, no doing it in hotel rooms, no public displays of affection, and it doesn’t apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland”

    In fact, these restrictions were not completely done away with until the Sexual Offences Act 2003…the same year as Lawrence v Texas in the U.S.

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/30042–k.htm#sch7

    Now, I admit that our immigration policy is a problem. But of course, this is because it’s handled by the backward and incompetent federal government.

    The areas where you have clearly made more progress than us, immigration reform and military service…are federal matters here. Moreover, all of these amendments were ushered by the Labour government after 1997. In contrast, the Democrats had a minority government from 1994-2000, and were the absolute minority from 2000-2006. As one might expect, such a political backdrop means no progress on gay rights at the federal level.

    My point is this: there are different ways of looking at gay issues. Overly reductionist arguments that proclaim “Europe is good, America is evil” does little to illustrate the complexity of the situation. It also does a disservice to those in Europe who are still struggling with discrimination and hate by sugar-coating the truth.

  6. Hmm… John, I am sorry you feel that way. The UAFA is very important to a lot of people. I am not one to moan about gay rights either… but no matter how dangerous a society may be, the government should protect the rights of gay people. Right now my wife is forced to live outside the US because she wanted to be with me. We have it pretty good, but now her parents are aging, and she has a brother with special needs, we would like to move to the US. We live in Holland now, and maybe there’s a couple of idiots in Amsterdam who feel the need to beat up gays, at least we feel supported and protected by our Dutch government. We are just sorry the US government is not as supportive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s