Yesterday, there was a massive rally on the Mall in support of immigration reform. It’s an important issue for me. I’ve written about it, work on it and also teach English to immigrants (as a volunteer.) I think part of this commitment stems from the fact that my grandmother, who emigrated from Ireland in 1911 was actually an “illegal” immigrant. She turned out okay.
The march yesterday was a very upbeat and positive gathering of people who are fighting for rights. (I know Tim Beauchamp was also on the Mall at the rally, but didn’t see him.) In many ways, it had the same feel as the March for Equality back in October. There was no anger, no hatred. But, there are unkept promises from the President.
Of course, the traditional media gave the event short shrift. A couple hundred teabaggers matters more than a couple hundred thousand LGBT activists or immigration rights activists. And, we share much of the same opposition. I’m always struck at how the language of those who hate immigrants so closely mirrors the language of the anti-gay crowd.
There was a strong contingent from Immigration Equality. I was able to get a video as they marched onto the Mall. From the stage, LGBT issues and inclusion were raised several times, including during the introduction of Rep. Mike Honda, the House sponsor of H.R. 2709, the Reuniting Families Act (RFA), which includes the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). (Rep. Nadler also has a stand alone UAFA bill,
H.R.1024, Uniting American Families Act of 2009, which has 121 co-sponsors.)
(Note from JOHN: How many people at this rally understood what “LGBT” meant in the sign above? I’m guessing not many. I find the acronym idiotic, and adding Q and all the rest of the alphabet only makes things worse – but from a strictly practical viewpoint, your protest loses its effectiveness when nobody knows who you are. I’ve met a lot of straight allies who have no idea what LGBT means.)