A group of minority LGBT activists has written an open letter to the community to express its disappointment with one of its own.
In the missive, the LGBT people of color respond to activist Jasmyne Cannick, who wrote an article entitled 'Gays First, Then Illegals' that ran in The Advocate, a national gay publication. According to the group, Cannick, a Black lesbian, argued that 'she cannot support the current battle for immigrant rights because LGBT people have not yet won the right to marry.' The group expressed its 'profound disagreement with her' and proposed various LGBT perspectives to the current immigration battles happening across the country.
Among the problems with the article, the group said, is that Cannick fails to realize the 'obvious fact' that the LGBT community and the immigrant community are not mutually exclusive. The people then contend that supporting immigrant rights 'does nothing to hurt our cause.' In fact, they believe that the antithesis is true and want to work towards building coalitions between immigrant- and LGBT-rights groups to work together for social justice.
The group also called on the National Black Justice Coalition and Stonewall Democrats, both of whom Cannick is part of, to make their positions known on the subject.
Among the dozens of individuals who signed off on the letter were Alain Dang, policy analyst of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Doyin Ola, welfare organizer for Queers for Economic Justice; Andres Duque, coordinator of Mano A Mano; Priscilla A. Hale, executive director of ALLGO; and Lee Che Leong, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union's Teen Health Initiative