LOS ANGELES - The Equality California Institute has announced the launch of “Equality Beyond Borders: LGBT Inclusive Immigration Reform,” an immigrant rights project aimed at raising awareness and increasing support for the rights of undocumented immigrants within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. With support from the Power PAC Foundation, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, the California Alliance and other key coalition partners, Equality California Institute will host a series of six workshops to promote fruitful dialogue and direct action around the issues affecting LGBT immigrants and bi-national same-sex couples.
“Through powerful personal stories and open dialogue, we hope to raise awareness and inspire action to remedy the injustices and barriers to equality that LGBT immigrants face as a result of our broken immigration system,” said Geoff Kors, Equality California Institute Executive Director. “Equality California Institute is proud to collaborate with leaders in the fight for immigration reform to shore up support for compassionate immigration reform that includes protections for our immigrant LGBT brothers and sisters.”
At the workshops, participants will watch the critically acclaimed documentary film “Papers,” profiling the lives of several undocumented immigrant students, including an LGBT student. After the screening, workshop attendees will take part in a discussion with advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.
“Now more than ever, we are presented with a unique opportunity to pass the federal DREAM ACT, which would allow a path to citizenship for undocumented LGBT students choosing to pursue a degree in higher education or to serve our nation in the military,” said Jorge Gutierrez, an undocumented LGBT immigrant activist featured in the film “Papers.” “While the US Senate is poised to pass this important piece of legislation during the lame duck session, they still need to hear from the LGBT community loudly and clearly. By sharing our personal stories and struggles as undocumented LGBT immigrants, we hope to increase the number of people within the LGBT community calling for a humane and inclusive approach to immigrant rights legislation.”
The project’s workshops are set to take place throughout Southern California including Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, Coachella Valley and the Inland Empire. Details for the first two workshops are listed below:
When: Thursday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Where: Equality California Los Angeles Field Office, 8106 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA
When: Wednesday, December 15 at 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Palm Springs Field Office, 314 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.