All The News That's Pro-Gay
The news was celebrated over the weekend by gay immigrants just as it was by other gay groups. On Monday, after the dancing had slowed, many immigrants outside the gay community said that the victory carried a special resonance for them, as well, for they understood discrimination better than most. Their relationship with gay advocacy groups is complex, even as some see similarities in their struggles. And because it is a state law and not a federal one, some of the benefits being sought, like citizenship for same-sex spouses, will not be forthcoming, and that has somewhat muted their response.In other words, the link is very tenuous.
“Both groups are used to having to hide,” said Ms. Archila, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, an immigrant advocacy group. “Each one of these movements is able to understand oppression in ways that other groups may not.” Advocates for the two groups say that immigrants and gay people are among the last still fighting for basic civil rights. Progress for one, they say, will help the other.Why do immigrants have to hide - oh, maybe they're illegal immigrants. So being gay is like being an illegal immigrant?
Gay Latino immigrants like Gamaliel Lopez, a native of Mexico, came to this country because they could not imagine an openly gay life at home. They found acceptance in some ways — Mr. Lopez says he can express his sexuality without fear in New York — but they also felt as if they entered the country with two black marks: one for being an immigrant, another for being gay.Well if they entered the country, they'd have to be an immigrant, right? So confusing.
Mr. Lopez said he hoped the vote would help erase the stigma of being gay, and offer a model of acceptance for immigrants. “We are a step closer to finding dignity for immigrants as well,” he said.As night follows the day.
There was disappointment that New York had lagged behind other states, like Iowa, and other countries, like Argentina, in allowing same-sex marriage.Iowa sounds like heaven - lots of immigrant jobs (particularly in meat-packing) and gay marriage! Argentina, too - or is Argentina even less welcoming of Central American immigrants than America?
And, perhaps most important, there was frustration that federal law does not allow American citizens and legal immigrants to seek United States residency for their same-sex partners. Husbands and wives are allowed to petition for foreign-born spouses.But until illegal immigrants can petition for gay spouses, we will not rest!
While the people interviewed in the article are no doubt real, the piece has the feel of a hoax - like the Times is pulling our leg. We all know that immigrants from traditional societies are much more anti-gay than native-born Americans, and thus the more immigrants the worse it is for gays. But in the Times's fantasy world, where white-Christian-traditional Americans constitute an oppressive ruling class, the two groups just have to be fighting on the same side.
Update: Derb points out in the comments that gay marriage is legal in Mexico! How funny.