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Equality Caucus not yet 100% on Immigration Equality

Over the weekend we learned that Congressman Gutierrez’s comprehensive immigration bill would not include LGBT families after much efforts from leading national LGBT organizations. The Roll Call article claims the pushback came from “Hispanic leaders more focused on keeping religious leaders on board with the plan.”

Photo courtesy of http://www.slapupsidethehead.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.slapupsidethehead.com

Now we are told we must wait until an amendment is made to the bill (remember when we were told to wait until the end of the year for ENDA?) when it comes before the Judiciary Committee in February of next year, a move supported by Equality Caucus Chair Rep. Polis (D-CO-2).

Here is the problem:  The bill is now out of the hands of Equality Caucus and Hispanic Caucus Member Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL-4) and has been passed to its new sponsor, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Founder Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX-27)—who is not even a cosponsor of ENDA or DADT repeal.

Representative Ortiz says that “some Hispanic lawmakers may be uneasy with the same-sex provision for cultural reasons, and they may need more time to weigh it.  ‘They feel a little uncomfortable. I think that ’s what it is, to be honest with you,‘ he said.”

Why has this bill been turned over to Representative Ortiz, and taken from the more openly LGBT friendly Representative Gutierrez?

And if that has you worried, there is more that has been uncovered:

The majority of Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members are cosponsors of DOMA repeal, 11 out of 21 members to be exact.  There are six Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members who are also members of the Equality Caucus that have cosponsored both DOMA repeal and the Uniting American Families Act.  Among those Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members, that are not Equality Caucus Members four are cosponsors of DOMA repeal and the Uniting American Families Act.  There is even one Congressional Hispanic Caucus Member that cosponsored DOMA repeal, but not the Uniting American Families Act.

Now, when it comes to our own Equality Caucus, the majority of the members are cosponsors for DOMA repeal, but 15 of the 81 still have not cosponsored the legislation.   With regards to immigration equality for our families, 9 of the 81, or 10% of Equality Caucus members have not signed on to Representative Nadler’s LGBT-specific Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1024) or Representative Honda’s inclusive Reuniting Families Act. (H.R. 2709).  What is the hold up for these 9 members of the Equality Caucus?

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Here are the members of the Equality Caucus that are also part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that are cosponsors of both DOMA repeal and the Uniting American Families Act:

  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-12)
  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA-31)
  • Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07)
  • Luis Gutierrez, (D-IL-04)
  • Linda Sanchez (D-CA-39)
  • Jose Serrano (D-NY-16)

Here are the Congressional Hispanic Caucus members that are not Equality Caucus members that are cosponsors of DOMA repeal and the Uniting American Families Act:

  • Grace Napolitano (D-CA-38)
  • Ed Pastor (D-AZ-04)
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-34)
  • Albio Sires (D-NJ-13)

Here is the Hispanic Caucus Member that is a cosponsor of only DOMA repeal, but not the Uniting American Families Act:

  • Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-03)

Here are the Equality Caucus Vice-Chairs not Cosponsoring UAFA:

  • Robert Andrews (D- NJ-01), but cosponsors DOMA repeal
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18)

Here are the Equality Caucus Members not Cosponsoring UAFA:

  • Kathy Castor (D-FL-11), but cosponsors DOMA repeal
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus First Vice Chair Charles Gonzalez (D-TX-20)
  • Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH-15), but cosponsors DOMA repeal
  • Zoe Lofgren, Zoe (D-CA-16), but cosponsors DOMA repeal
  • Patrick Murphy (D-PA-08)
  • Gary Peters (D-MI-09)
  • Joe Sestak (D-PA-07), but cosponsors DOMA repeal

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