The legal right to marry is
rightfully at the forefront of the civil rights campaign for lesbians and gay
couples. But the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is fighting a
host of challenges that must receive concrete responses from policymakers.
Dozens of people are
the discrimination and violence GLBT persons are exposed and subjected to.
Spearheaded by Globe, a project of Make the Road New York, the gathering
on this Saturday is no coincidence. Today is the start of Pride Week in
This week of events
commemorates the famous Stonewall uprising in 1969, where gays and lesbians
harassed by the police fought back. Since then, this historic defiance has
served as a symbol of a movement for respect and dignity.
Pride Week is also a
reminder of the work that remains, especially around the challenges that burden
African Americans and Latinos.
To be a Latino immigrant and
gay raises a deeper set of barriers and discrimination. While some same-sex
couples may see hope in President Obamas just-announced extension of federal
benefits to them, others remain out of the loop. Same-sex couples with
immigration issues will not be able to seize that opportunity until immigration
reform is a reality. Marchers today are drawing attention to the plight of
lesbian and gay immigrants.
They are also raising their
voices against hate crimes. It was in Bushwick last December that two Latino
brothers, walking close to each other on a cold night, were called racial and
ethnic slurs and attacked, with one fatally beaten.
Clearly, bringing attention
to the intersection of race, sexuality and immigration is an important step
towards equal protections for all GLBT people. But it is also the duty of our
legislators and leaders to stop denying them the rights that heterosexuals take