Home Feature Pressure continues for Klobuchar to take lead on LGBT legislation

Pressure continues for Klobuchar to take lead on LGBT legislation

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The Minneapolis City Council and the Family Equality Council are putting pressure on Sen. Amy Klobuchar to support the Uniting American Families Act that would add same-sex couples to immigration reform efforts in the Senate. Last week at OutFront Minnesota’s LGBT Lobby Day at the State Capitol, LGBT leaders criticized Klobuchar for not cosponsoring UAFA or a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

On Thursday, council member Gary Schiff sent a letter to Klobuchar urging her to sign on to UAFA. The letter came from the full Minneapolis City Council who added UAFA to their legislative agenda several weeks ago.

“In Minnesota, many have waited too long to be united with their families. Others are being forced to leave the United States because our laws will not let them stay in their homes and petition for their same sex partners for immigration,” wrote Schiff. “I am writing on behalf of the entire Minneapolis City Council to strongly urge you to support the Uniting American Families Act of 2009.”

Just a day earlier, the Family Equality Council delivered over 400 notes to Klobuchar urging her to sign on to cosponsor the bill.

As TheColu.mn reported earlier, Klobuchar hasn’t signed on to a bill condemning Uganda’s “Kill Gays” bill, a piece of legislation that has garnered the support of Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, James Oberstar, and Tim Walz, as well as Sen. Al Franken, the Minneapolis City Council and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

Here’s the full text of Schiff’s letter to Klobuchar:

Dear Senator Klobuchar,

I am writing on behalf of the entire Minneapolis City Council to strongly urge you to support the Uniting American Families Act of 2009 (H.R. 1025 and S. 424). I have attached a resolution passed by the Minneapolis City Council supporting the bill and adding it to City of Minneapolis’ Federal Agenda.

Under current immigration law, millions of American families remain broken – separated because of inexcusable visa backlogs, unnecessary bureaucratic paper trails and discriminatory policies that do not recognize lesbian and gay families for the purposes of equal immigration rights.

In Minnesota, many have waited too long to be united with their families. Others are being forced to leave the United States because our laws will not let them stay in their homes and petition for their same sex partners for immigration.

Americans with same sex partners who are not U.S. citizens face discrimination that other Americans do not face. Faith, ethnic, labor, education, health and other groups support truly comprehensive immigration reform that includes same sex bi-national couples. They want reform that stops tearing Americans away from parents, siblings, jobs and communities.

Minnesotans need you help to make sure that immigration reform, promised by the President and making its way through Congress, is truly comprehensive and includes fixing backlogs and doing away with the discriminatory process and outdated definitions of family. Comprehensive is not comprehensive unless it includes everyone.

I urge, on behalf of the entire Minneapolis City Council to make swift and comprehensive solutions to this troubling part of American life and make families and their unification the goal in comprehensive immigration reform – and to define American families as they are in all their diversity.

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Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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