Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-10-02
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Our liberation tied to immigration reform
by Irene Monroe
2006-06-01

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


At Chicago's May 1 immigration march and rally. Photo by Marie-Jo Proulx

Being born in this country does not give you full citizenship rights—nor does being born in this country guarantee you life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

People who enter this country without proper documentation are called illegal aliens. But those of us who are born here and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, women or people of color are all treated as resident aliens.

America has always maintained a separate and unequal society for its denizens and there is no greater moment for the LGBTQ civil-rights movement to shed light on America's hypocrisy concerning full U.S. citizenship rights than the issue of immigration.

Very little separates these two communities when it comes to issues of marriage equality, adoption rights, housing, health and labor. And there is no greater example for the LGBTQ community to see our plight inextricably tied to the plight of our immigrant brothers and sisters than the immigration challenges faced by LGBTQ couples.

Full citizenship rights have always escaped marginal and disenfranchised groups in this country, and full citizenship rights have always been the litmus test of how invested America is in having a multicultural democracy.

And America's investment has always been anemic when it comes to its LGBTQ citizens.

Take marriage, for example. Just as federal laws in this country do not recognize same-sex unions between LGBTQ U.S. citizens and their non-citizen partners, neither do these laws recognize the union of two queer U.S. citizens unless you reside in Massachusetts, and then it's only recognized by the state.

But Massachusetts has its own borderline when it comes to same-sex unions. With the recent reaffirmation of a 1913 law originally intended as a color line to prohibit interracial couples from coming into Massachusetts to get married, those same-sex couples who do not reside, or have no plans to reside, in the Bay State cannot come here to get legally married.

And then there is the issue of LGBTQ housing and the 'there goes the neighborhood' syndrome. While America cries out that it will not house illegal aliens from outside of its borders, it must be told that America has never been invested in housing its changing demographics inside its borders.

We are all too familiar with classic tales of Negrophobia—past and present—when one Black family moves into the neighborhood and white flight invariably takes hold.

America has always feared the browning of America. So, too, does this country fear the gaying of America.

It's one thing to have gay bookstores, gay nightclubs, gay neighborhoods and even a couple of gay families worshiping in straight churches and attending seminaries, but for many the boundaries were pushed too far and borders had to be erected when the Episcopal Church consecrated a gay bishop, Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Moreover, the Catholic Church would rather shut its doors, like it did to gay adoption, than allow an openly gay pope to emerge from under its homophobic vestments.

While it is clear that our country's investment is neither in illegal immigrants nor its LGBTQ citizens, it is, however, not so clear whether both communities will work together in getting America to dismantle its borders against them.

It is also clear that both communities are not mutually exclusive, as evidenced by the recent report released by Human Rights Watch and Immigration Equality entitled 'Family Unvalued: Discrimination, Denial and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples Under U.S. Law.' But it is not so clear if the larger LGBTQ community sees this as their issue.

And I worry that if the larger LGBTQ community does not see immigration reform as part of its larger struggle for full citizenship rights in this country, then the larger LGBTQ community will once again confront similar struggles as it did when pushing its marriage equality agenda until it got on the bandwagon with communities of color.

The marriage equality debate did not have people of color in its initial struggle, but not because we did not see its importance in our communities or within the larger context of queer civil rights. Our lack of involvement in the initial struggle was because the larger LGBTQ community did not see it.

The larger LGBTQ community historically has not done well in the area of coalition building among different marginal populations inside and outside of its geographical and ideological borders. And its efforts to reach out to communities of color have either been anemic or nonexistent.

There is no better time than now to create a wider support base in our struggle for full citizenship rights than on the issue of immigration reform.

And if we don't embrace this issue, then we will have become the border to our own civil rights.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.