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Gutierrez endorses UAFA in comprehensive immigration reform

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An influential pro-immigrant U.S. House member has endorsed including protections for LGBT bi-national couples as part of comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

In a statement Thursday, Rep. Luiz Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said inclusion of language allowing LGBT Americans to sponsor foreign partners for residency in the United States is an important part of a broader reform bill.

“Our efforts to fix our broken immigration system and protect basic civil rights are not truly comprehensive if we exclude same-sex couples,” he said.

Standalone legislation that would enable an estimated 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples to stay together in the United States is known as the Uniting American Families Act. Proponents of the legislation have been seeking inclusion of UAFA as part of upcoming comprehensive immigration reform legislation in Congress.

Gutierrez is schueduled to announce officially his support for inclusion of UAFA on Monday at a press conference in Chicago, Ill. Joining him at the conference will be Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who also support inclusion of LGBT couples in immigration reform.

Late last year, Gutierrez introduced his own version of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that was seen an alternative to the working bill expected later. However, even though Gutierrez is a co-sponsor of UAFA, the legislation didn’t include UAFA-like language.

According to the statement from Gutierrez’ office, the lawmaker’s recent announcement means he’s “recommitting himself” to inclusion of specific UAFA-like language as part of comprehensive reform.

Support from Gutierrez — a favorite among Latino and pro-immigration groups — can only bolster the efforts of LGBT rights supporters seeking to include UAFA as part of larger reform. In the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is poised to lead legislative efforts this year on the issue, although when his bill will be introduced remains in question.

Steve Ralls, spokesperson for Immigration Equality, called Gutierrez a “key ally” in including UAFA in comprehensive reform because of “his leadership on immigration issues, his membership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.”

“He’s someone who carries a huge amount of influence and credibility on immigration reform generally,” he said.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Leslie Weinberg

    June 21, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Thank you very much for your support. As a Unitarian Universalist, I support Human Rights everywhere. That would include Fairer Immigration Reform. Not separating families or allowing them to sponsor one another due to sexual identities are important rights.

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Arts & Entertainment

2021 Best of LGBTQ DC Readers’ Choice Award Finalist Voting

Vote for your favorite finalist in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd.

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It is Decision 2021! You nominated and now we have our Top 5 finalists. Vote for your favorites in our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 3rd. Our 2021 Best of LGBTQ DC will be announced at the Best of LGBTQ DC Awards Party on October 21st and our special issue will come out on Friday, October 22nd.

Thank you to our sponsors: ABSOLUT, PEPCO, Washington Regional Transplant Community.

Vote below or by clicking HERE.

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World

Biden highlights LGBTQ rights in UN General Assembly speech

President noted crackdowns in Chechnya, Cameroon

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President Biden addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021. (Screen capture via NBC News)

President Biden on Tuesday in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly spoke in support of LGBTQ rights around the world.

“We all must defend the rights of LGBTQI individuals so they can live and love openly without fear,” he said.

Biden in his speech specifically cited anti-LGBTQ crackdowns in Chechnya and Cameroon. He spoke after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights, addressed the General Assembly.

“As we pursue diplomacy across the board, the United States will champion the democratic values that go to the very heart of who we are as a nation and a people: freedom, equality, opportunity and a belief in the universal rights of all people,” said Biden.

The White House earlier this year released a memorandum that committed the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ rights abroad.

The decriminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations and protecting LGBTQ migrants and asylum seekers are two of the administration’s five priorities in its efforts to promote LGBTQ rights abroad. Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week expressed concern over the fate of LGBTQ Afghans who remain in their country after the Taliban regained control of it, but it remains unclear how many of them the U.S. has been able to evacuate.

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Local

Veteran restauranteurs to open Drift in Rehoboth

Second Block Hospitality eyes 2022 debut for new raw bar

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Double L, Diego's Hideaway, Fourth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade
A new raw bar is coming to Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Despite the generally anti-business positions of the current Rehoboth Beach Mayor and some members of the Rehoboth Beach Commission, there are still some entrepreneurs who have faith in Rehoboth Beach.

One such group is the newly announced Second Block Hospitality Group, which brings together local industry leaders Lion Gardner, Tyler Townsend, Bob Suppies, and David Gonce.

According to the partners, “The mission of Second Block Hospitality is simple…to deliver exceptional hospitality. Second Block projects will be designed to become places that matter; that bring the community together. They aim to create unique spaces that foster positivity, a creative atmosphere, and memorable experiences. Driven by this philosophy we are thoughtful in everything we do, down to the smallest detail. In all our endeavors we are committed to crafting unique guest experiences through innovative design, authentic flavors, and warm hospitality.”

Their first new venture, Drift, will be a raw bar and dining room on Baltimore Avenue. The new project, already underway, is a massive restoration designed to transform the existing building, originally built in 1890 and used as a camp meeting house, into a modern structure with historic charm. Drift restaurant will feature a refined design, open airy spaces and lots of glass for open vantage points with an indoor/outdoor bar area and intimate back patio that will add to the allure of Baltimore Avenue.

“We could not be more excited to be breaking ground on another passion project,” said Suppies. “Coming through the last year brought many new challenges to our industry, but we were able to get very creative and grow as a company, so this new venture is very exciting for us.”

Another of the partners, Gardner, brings his skill set as a longtime chef to the new venture.

“One of my roles in the company will be to oversee the menu and kitchen at Drift and all of our projects moving forward,” Gardner said. “The great thing about our ownership group is that even though each partner has his own area of expertise, there is collaboration across the board; we are all involved in all aspects of the business. I am excited to learn and contribute in other areas as well, and luckily for me I’m working with a group of really talented, experienced and passionate guys.”

Drift is slated to open sometime in early 2022, and things are in full swing for the new restaurant owners, including menu planning. Townsend said, “Drift will be a true raw bar focusing on the art of raw seafood and not just oysters, along with traditionally prepared dishes influenced by the sea. From a beverage standpoint we will feature craft cocktails and eccentric wine and beer offerings. Think small and intimate, rustic and classic, yet casual with a focus on culinary inventiveness and creative spaces.” and good times. For more information visit driftrb.com.

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