Join Us Thursday in Washington . . . with Some Very Special Guests
By Steve Ralls on 04/12/2011 @ 11:45 AM
On Thursday, a Congressional “who’s who” of champions for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families will join Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) as he reintroduces the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). We’ll be on Capitol Hill, with Congressman Nadler, urging lawmakers to support this critically important legislation that would end discrimination faced by LGBT binational couples.
If you live in the Washington area, we want you to join us, too. We'll be gathering at the House Triangle, at 1pm, to show our support for UAFA and our families. (The House Triangle in on the southeast side of the U.S. Capitol, and is accessible via Independence Avenue.)
If you're in D.C. on Thursday, please plan to be there. You can RSVP at Facebook. Bring your signs, bring your families and bring your friends.
Congressman Nadler, who serves as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, will be joined by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, as well as Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), the lead sponsor of the LGBT-inclusive Reuniting Families Act and Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO).
Immigration Equality’s executive director, Rachel Tiven, will also be on hand for the event, along with four very special guests: Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado, and their twin sons, Joriene and Jashley.
The Tan-Mercado family (pictured) made headlines around the world – and in People Magazine – when Shirley faced removal from the United States after being detained by immigration. Despite the fact that Shirley and Jay – who is an American citizen – have been together for more than two decades, their family was faced with the very real possibility of being torn apart. Joriene and Jashley – who are also U.S. citizens – also faced the possibility of losing their mother. Today, Shirley remains with her family, through a private bill introduced on her behalf by Senator Dianne Feinstein.
As the family will recount on Thursday, however, Shirley’s private bill is only a temporary solution that offers no permanent promise for keeping their family together. For the Tan-Mercado family – and thousands of others across the country and around the world – UAFA offers the only permanent option for ending the separation of our families.
Shirley, Jay, Joriene and Jashely will provide powerful testimony – and a timely reminder – about the critical need for UAFA at Thursday’s press event. And, during their visit to Capitol Hill, they’ll be personally asking lawmakers to support its passage.
We’ll post more information on UAFA’s reintroduction here on the blog as that becomes available. And, if you haven’t already taken action to urge your elected leaders to co-sponsor the bill . . . click here, and do so now!