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The August strategy: Immigrant rights activism heats up

 

 

 

 

By Elena Shore

Contributing Writer

 

About 40 leaders of immigration reform advocacy organizations were arrested Thursday, August 1, on Capitol Hill. The group was there as part of a protest aimed at pressuring the House GOP into passing an immigration reform bill with a pathway to citizenship. Taking a page from young undocumented immigrants, or Dreamers, nine of whom were arrested along the Arizona border last week, the veteran activists blocked traffic along a street adjacent to the Capitol while chanting a slogan popular among Dreamers: “Undocumented, unafraid!”

The action came a day before Congress members leave Washington, D.C. for their August recess. It kicked off a series of demonstrations, town hall meetings and events that are being planned by immigrant rights advocates during the month of August. The goal, according to Angela Kelley, vice president of immigration policy for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for American Progress, is to use the August recess to gain so much momentum in support of immigration reform that “when they come back, there’s an air of inevitability” around settling the issue. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota legalizes same-sex marriage

 

 
But my same-sex marriage was real before the law passed
 
 

 

By Stephani Maari Booker

Contributing Writer

 

Instead of attending to the novel I was supposed to be working on, I spent the afternoon in front of the TV watching the debate over and vote on the same-sex marriage bill in the State Senate on TPT’s Minnesota Channel. I listened to the passionate and heartfelt speeches given by DFL Senators Scott Dibble, Jeff Hayden, Patricia Torres Ray and others in favor of passing the bill for legalizing same-sex marriage, and — to be honest — I muted the TV sound when senators opposing the bill had the floor. I was all ears and eyes when speeches and attempts by Republican senators to attach amendments were over and the vote commenced. When the results showed the bill passed 37-30, the first thing I did was pick up the phone and call my wife. On Sunday, June 12, 2011, I married my domestic partner of six years, Misha, at Great River Bluffs State Park in Winona, MN. Continue Reading →

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Obama harkens back to slavery with ‘states’ rights’ for same-sex marriage

 
 
Last July, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans and our allies celebrated New York State becoming the sixth and largest state to allow same-sex marriage. And, of course, it sent an urgent message to President Obama. But what does it signal to us LGBTQ citizens when the first African American president wants to employ states’ rights, which once upon a time in this country federally mandated racial segregation and sanctioned American slavery, to address the issue of same-sex marriage? As a civil rights attorney, Obama knows that employing states’ rights violates our full constitutional rights as well as re-institutionalizes the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson. As a result of that case, the ”separate but equal” doctrine became the rule of law until it was struck down in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Continue Reading →

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