In the shadows of the Statue of Liberty, we see glimpses of freedom.
Henry Velandia's deportation hearing ended a short time ago, and it was quite an event. Because of the pressure that you and thousands of other LGBT advocates across the country created, Henry's case was pushed back to December, opening up the possibility for tens of thousands of other same-sex binational couples to make a case to keep their families together, despite the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Henry and his husband, Josh, are ecstatic that they have more time together, though the fight is certainly not over yet. This week, a wide range of LGBT organizations came together to support Henry and Josh, including Stop the Deportations, All Out, Courage Campaign, Garden State Equality, Out4Immigration, Princeton Equality Project, Immigration Equality, Marriage Equality USA, and Queer Rising. And Henry and Josh's lawyer, the tireless Lavi Soloway, was a force to be reckoned with.
We asked Lavi if he wanted to send along a message to you with an update about what this means for Josh and Henry, for other binational couples, for other LGBT Americans, and for the movement -- here's what he had to say:
"Today was a remarkable day. We're still in legal limbo with this case and with others, but momentum is on our side and the Administration is starting to look for ways to address the disparity in how the U.S. government treats binational same-sex couples. We have wind at our backs, but there are tens of thousand of couples who are facing similar circumstances. We'll fight as hard as we can in the courtroom, but we need activists and organizers to fight as hard as YOU can on the streets. For your work that led to today's outcome, I cannot thank you enough!"
-- Lavi Soloway, co-founder of Immigration Equality and founder of StopTheDeportations.com
Today was a good day…and we don't always have a lot of good days. We'll continue to press the Obama Administration to create a permanent solution to this problem of immigration inequality, but we'll need more people like you in order to do that.
Can you forward this email to your friends, asking them to join the movement for full federal equality at www.getequal.org/join-the-movement
In the shadows of the Statue of Liberty today, we were not silent, and her poem held renewed meaning: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
-Heather Cronk, Managing Director