Five members of Congress from California last week visited two shelters for LGBTQ asylum seekers in Tijuana.
Congress members Mark Takano, Raul Ruiz, Juan Vargas, Katie Porter and Sara Jacobs on May 6 toured Jardín de las Mariposas and Casa Arcoíris.
The Council for Global Equality organized the trip.
Chair Mark Bromley, Co-chair Julie Dorf and Senior Policy Fellow Bierne Roose-Snyder traveled to Tijuana along with Organization of Refuge, Asylum and Migration Executive Director Steve Roth. Representatives of the Transgender Law Center and the Refugee Alliance also met with the group.
The trip began in San Diego.
“As we work to fix our broken immigration system, improve border efficiency, and restore asylum at our borders, we must take a humanitarian approach and proactively protect all vulnerable populations lawfully seeking asylum in our country,” said Ruiz in a statement his office issued before the trip. “The LGBTQI community is one of the most vulnerable to face persecution, violence, and abuse in their home countries, throughout their journey to our borders, and in detention centers. As a trained humanitarian, I am going to assess their vulnerabilities and help provide humanitarian protections that are consistent with our American laws and their human rights.”
I visited Tijuana with congressional colleagues and advocates from @Global_Equality to learn more about the threats LGBTQ+ asylum seekers face and what we can do to help. I’ll never stop working for human rights for LGBTQ+ folks and asylees, on both sides of the border. pic.twitter.com/DTydCGJIEw
— Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (@RepSaraJacobs) May 7, 2022
The trip took place less than a month before the scheduled end of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rule that closed the Southern border to most asylum seekers and migrants because of the pandemic. The trip also coincided with the ILGA World Conference that took place last week in Long Beach.
Last week, ORAM was thrilled to welcome five US Congressmembers to El Jardín de Las Mariposas, an #LGBTIQ #refugee shelter in Tijuana that we partner with! ORAM ED Steve Roth spoke about ORAM’s support for the residents and ways that the congressmembers can show their support. pic.twitter.com/kDBJPsmYvQ
— ORAM (@ORAMrefugee) May 9, 2022
Baja California governor vetoes bill banning conversion therapy
Measure overwhelmingly passed in Mexico state’s Congress on April 21
The governor of Mexico’s Baja California state has vetoed a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy.
The bill, which passed in the Baja California Congress on April 21 by a 20-4 vote margin, would specifically amend the state’s Penal Code and non-discrimination law to ban the discredited practice. Anyone convicted of conversion therapy would be fined and receive a sentence of between 2-6 years in prison.
Media reports indicate Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda vetoed the bill in order to send it back to lawmakers “to be able to strengthen this initiative from our points of view.” Eduardo Arredondo, an activist and member of the Congress’ Youth Parliament who pushed for the measure, on Tuesday told the Los Angeles Blade that Ávila made her decision in response “to the pressure that conservative groups put on her.”
“They maintain that each person is free to profess the religion that they want and can therefore act in accordance to their beliefs,” said Arredondo. “This includes seeking ‘help’ or an ‘advisory opinion’ in a situation in which their son or daughter is a member of the LGBT+ community. They also maintain that they, as parents, have the right to seek help to educate their child in the best way.”
Arredondo in a statement further defended the bill.
“The approval of the (conversion therapy) bill in Baja California represents a big step forward in the recognition of the rights of the LGBT+ community in the state,” he said. “The delay in the publication of the law on the part of the governor represents a setback in the guarantee of these rights. As long as this law is not published, therapies will continue to take place and many young people and children will continue to be subjected to these practices.”
Altagracia Tamayo is the president of Centro Comunitario de Bienestar Social (COBINA), a group in the state capital of Mexicali that serves LGBTQ+ people and other vulnerable groups.
Tamayo on Monday at a press conference that Comité Orgullo Mexicali, another local LGBTQ+ rights group, organized in response to Ávila’s veto said she survived conversion therapy.
“Conversion therapy damages the most intimate part of what makes children and young people a human being,” said Tamayo.
Seven other jurisdictions in Mexico have banned conversion therapy.
Gay man shot to death on NYC subway train
Vandals target 2 Rehoboth Beach LGBTQ-owned businesses
Pride Run returns after two-year hiatus
Mattachine Society of D.C. donates documents to William & Mary
Lesbian couple hopeful Md. law requires Christian school to enroll son
Republican Pa. governor nominee opposes LGBTQ rights
How a pro-transgender memo sneaked through the Trump administration
Consider buying a beach house with a group of friends
U.S. Army considers allowing LGBTQ troops to transfer from hostile states
Diputado salvadoreño habla públicamente su homosexualidad
Sign Up for Blade eBlasts
Pennsylvania7 days ago
Brian Sims, four other LGBTQ candidates lose races in Pa.
Arts & Entertainment6 days ago
Rehoboth Beach summer 2022: ‘Let’s choose joy!’
News7 days ago
Karine Jean-Pierre on her firsts: ‘I am a Black, gay, immigrant woman’
Florida6 days ago
“Don’t Say Gay” student leader says school stopping run for student leadership
Opinions6 days ago
GLAA has lost its way and should close
Travel5 days ago
‘A piece of heaven’ awaits in Easton, Md.
District of Columbia7 days ago
Capital Stonewall Democrats backs Robert White over Bowser
Opinions6 days ago
Leave no one behind: Building an LGBTQ+ movement for all