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Friday, October 22, 2010


Last night in Washington, Roi Whaley left a room of 100 people riveted and silent.
Roi, who turned to Immigration Equality’s legal team after being separated from his Filipino partner Aurelio, made a passionate plea for all of us to stand up and end the discrimination LGBT families face under our current immigration system.
“I made a promise to Aurelio that I would always be there for him,” said Roi, who is now battling Stage III cancer while fighting to bring his partner home. “I just want to bring him home so I can die with him in my arms.”
Yesterday, Immigration Equality’s policy team spent the day on Capitol Hill with Roi, where he shared his story with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and asked that they lend their support to the Uniting American Families Act. Our legal team is also working, non-stop, to find a way to bring Roi and Aurelio back together — and back home — again.
They’ve pledged to match — dollar for dollar — every contribution we receive, up to $22,000 – from now until the end of the month.  Last night, our generous supporters in Washington brought us within striking distance of our goal. Now, you can help us cross the finish line.
It’s impossible to hear Roi’s story and not be moved, angry and determined. The United States government has ripped an American citizen’s family apart, and that should leave us all outraged. We cannot allow our government to determine who we can, and cannot, share our lives, our homes or our love with. We cannot allow one more family to face the same fate as Roi and Aurelio.
Roi was joined last night, in Washington, by Sister Jeannine Gramick, a Roman Catholic nun who has been a passionate advocate for our families. Sister Jeannine hugged Roi, thanked him for telling his story, and reminded all LGBT binational families that they do not stand alone.
This afternoon, Roi will fly back to his home along the Gulf Coast ... but, despite the life they have built together, Aurelio will not be home to welcome Roi when he gets there.
That’s unconscionable. That’s why we fight. That’s why we need your help, too.
Please, log on today and make a gift to the Immigration Equality Action Fund.
Thank you,
Rachel B. Tiven
Executive Director

P.S.: Remember that, from now until October 31st, your gift will be matched — dollar for dollar — by three generous binational families who have pledged $22,000 in support of our work to help families like Roi’s. We have just days to go before our deadline, and your gift can help us reach our goal. Your gift will be doubled, and your contribution will be put to immediate work on behalf of our families who are facing separation, or are already living in exile.


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