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Why are we still deporting married LGBT people?

Monday, October 10, 2011
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As the legal challenge to Prop 8 continues, Equality California backs away from a repeal campaign in 2012. More Republicans than ever back marriage equality, but deportation still looms for legally married LGBTs. And why should the nation’s cops have to pay for John Boehner’s $1.5 million anti-gay lawyer?

This was a big week for bi-partisan agreement on marriage equality. Watch this week’s Marriage News Watch here:

Following is the text of this week’s program:

In North Carolina, Democratic Governor Bev Purdue joined Republican Representative Renee Elmers in opposing an upcoming ballot measure that would ban not just marriage, civil unions and employment benefits for partners. The law could also force domestic violence programs to withhold services from unmarried victims, gay and straight. So it’s no wonder that Republican lawmakers, Democratic lawmakers and clergy are lining up to oppose the measure.

Visit EqualityNC.org to learn more about how you can help — the polling is still very close, and we’ve still got about 8 months before the final vote.

There’s similar news from Minnesota, where a group of Republicans spoke out against that state’s impending anti-marriage measure. And they’re putting their money where their mouth is, with a $10,000 donation to Minnesotans United for All Families. Visit MNUnited.org to make a donation of your own, volunteer, or just spread the word.

This surge in Republican support may be a response to new polling that shows voters are increasingly hostile to anti-gay politicians. New data out this week shows that 42% of voters are more likely to oppose candidates who oppose marriage equality. That’s compared to just 25% of voters who would be more likely to support anti-gay candidates.

But one Republican still isn’t getting the message. House Speaker John Boehner allocated another million dollars this week to prolong the legal defense of DOMA. That’s on top of a half million he’s already wasted. And he went even further, threatening to strip that $1.5 million from the Department of Justice, which earlier this year dropped its defense of DOMA. The DOJ’s responsible for national criminal investigations and law enforcement, so in essence Boehner wants to rob police budgets to pay for one high-priced lawyer.

Meanwhile, there’s still lots of trouble over at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Despite the Obama administration’s directive to prioritize criminal deportations and leave law-abiding spouses alone, ICE is continuing deportation proceedings against a Philadelphia man married to an american citizen. Unless officials intervene, Anton Tanumihardja could be deported as early as January.

And this week Equality California announced that they won’t pursue a Prop 8 repeal in 2012. Next year is already going to be crazy, with marriage campaigns in Minnesota, North Carolina, and potentially Maine. Added to that is a possible referendum on the inclusion of LGBT figures in California curriculum, and by the way, a presidential race — so 2012 would have been a very difficult and very expensive year to try to overturn Prop 8. Especially with a legal challenge proceeding rapidly through the courts.

That it’s for this week, join us at MarriageNewsWatch.com where you can sign up for breaking email alerts or browse our 3-year archive of marriage equality headlines. And connect with us at Facebook.com/MarriageNewsWatch to stay informed. We’ll see you next week.

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