Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don't Just ASK for CHANGE - DEMAND IT!

ALERT: All same-sex binational couples and allies. We need you to take to your phones, email and social media accounts and make sure every Senator who is debating our inclusion in immigration reform be made aware that we are not asking them to consider including us. We are DEMANDING it.

Talking points:

  •  Immigration reform is NOT comprehensive unless ALL families are included. That means LGBT families, specifically, same-sex binational couples.
  • Including same-sex binationals in immigration reform IS NOT redefining marriage. Same-sex marriage is LEGAL in 12 states, the District of Columbia and 15 countries.
  • Adding some 36,000 same-sex binationals to immigration reform WILL NOT kill the bill. What will kill this bill is hate and bigotry. 

Pick up your phones, fire up your email, stoke your social media and contact the following – not once, but as often as you can. If you are using Twitter, tag your tweets #binatlgbt

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Phone: 202-224-3841 (DC)
310-914-7300 (Los Angeles office)
415-393-0707 (San Francisco office)
Twitter: @SenFeinsetin
Additional phone numbers, email and snail mail contact:
Key message: Sen. Feinstein insists that she is a champion for gays and lesbians. To her credit she did not vote for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and supports the repeal of that law. However, she insists that same-sex binational couples be legally married before we can be included in immigration reform. Same-sex marriage, though, is currently AGAINST the law in Sen. Feinstein’s own state! Senator Feinstein has often linked her gay rights cred to being the one who found Harvey Milk’s body after he was assassinated at San Francisco City Hall in 1978. We ask the Senator, “What would Harvey do?” for same-sex binationals if he were still alive? We think he’d be taking a leadership position – and that’s what we want Senator Feinstein to do.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Phone:  202-224-6542 (DC)
212-486-4430 (NY)
Twitter: @ChuckSchumer
Additional phone numbers, email and snail mail contact:

Key message: Sen. Schumer, another long-time champion for LGBT rights, is waffling on supporting our inclusion in immigration reform. In fact, he is so troubled about letting down his Republican cohorts in the Gang of 8, he claims to be LOSING SLEEP over his vote about whether or not to include us! Our message to him, via Twitter has been:  Losing sleep over gays in #CIR? @ChuckSchumer 40,000 same-sex binationals don't sleep well either. Vote yes on Leahy amendments. #binatLGBT

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Phone: 202-224-4242
Twitter: @SenatorLeahy
Additional phone numbers, email and snail mail contact:

Key message: Sen. Leahy has introduced two amendments to the immigration reform bill currently being debated. Amendments 6 and 7 call for including language from the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and recognizing same-sex binational couples who are legally married for immigration purposes. We need all 10 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee to vote YES on these amendments. Thank Senator Leahy for including us. Encourage his colleagues to vote YES on the Leahy amendments – or YES on amendments 6 and 7 in CIR.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Phone: 202-224-2152
Twitter: @SenatorDurbin
Additional phone numbers, email and snail mail contact:

Key message: Sen. Durbin says he supports LGBT rights and marriage equality. If that’s the case, then voting YES on the Leahy amendments to include same-sex binationals in immigration reform should be a matter of course.

Other Democratic Senators on the Judiciary committee include:

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Twitter: @SenWhitehouse / Add’l contact info:  

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Twitter: @amyklobuchar / Add’l contact info:

Al Franken (D-MN) Twitter: @alfranken / Add’l contact info:

Chris Coons (D-DE) Twitter: @SenCoonsOffice / Add’l contact info:

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) Twitter: @SenBlumenthal  / Add’l contact info:

Note: These five Senators all come from MARRIAGE EQUALITY states. They are representatives of thousands of married gay and lesbian couples, and of course, same-sex binational couples.

The final Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee is Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). While she is not from a marriage equality state, she does support marriage equality. Twitter: @maziehirono / Add’l contact info:

Key message to all of the above: Please vote YES on Senator Leahy’s amendments 6 and 7 to the immigration reform bill. Immigration reform is NOT comprehensive unless it includes ALL families. Same-sex binational couples NEED your support. 

And – if you are tweeting this, tag your tweets #binatlgbt

The Republicans – While we do not have much hope for getting YES votes out of any on the Judiciary committee, we are TIRED of their demeaning talk and their blustering that our inclusion will kill the bill. That is the message THEY are sending out to the American public and we NEED to turn it back on them.

Same-sex binationals WILL NOT kill immigration reform. Hate and bigotry will. 

And Senators Graham and Flake, two members of the Gang of 8 who are on the Judiciary committee need to hear from YOU.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Phone:  202-224-5972 (DC)
Twitter: @GrahamBlog
Additional phone numbers, email and snail mail contact:

Key message: Sen. Graham is the one leading the charge against us, saying that our inclusion in the bill will derail it. He accuses those who want to add same-sex binationals to the bill as “redefining marriage”. Funny, coming from a guy who has never been married! Be respectful, though. Tell Senator Graham to STOP redefining COMPREHENSIVE. STOP demeaning our families. DO the RIGHT thing and include ALL FAMILIES in immigration reform. And – as a long shot, remind him that we are talking about denying tax-paying AMERICAN CITIZENS the right to live in their own country.

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Phone: 202-224-4521 (DC)
602-840-1891 (AZ)
Twitter:  @JeffFlake
Additional phone numbers, email and snail mail contact:

Key message: As a member of the Gang of 8, along with his cohort Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Flake has committed to keeping us OUT of immigration reform. Tell him his bill is NOT comprehensive if it does not include ALL families. Remind him that by not includeing same-sex binationals in immigration reform he is DENYING tax-paying AMERICAN CITIZENS the right to live in their own country.

Remember, you DO NOT have to live in these jurisdictions to contact these Senators. Although their staff may tell you differently, be POLITE, but FIRM. 

YOUR FAMILY hangs in the balance of the votes these lawmakers are about to cast. If you cannot get through on the PHONE or EMAIL, taking to Twitter or sending a letter via snail mail is just as good. In fact, in some cases it may turn out to be even more POWERFUL.

Thanks to our social media savvy volunteers who continue to post VITAL contact information. This document could not have been put together so quickly without your contributions.

1 comment:

budayoga said...

NJ Senator Robert Menendez is also important to list here. He is my Senator and claims to be an LGBTQ supporter.

Because Garden State Equality is SILENT on the issue, he is not hearing enough from our community.

Please help and Contact him! He is someone who may be swayed. Thanks!! Tom Hoppel, Executive Director, LGBTQ Immigration and Marriage Equality ( and a huge admirer of Out4Immigration!!)