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Shannon Speaks on Immigration Discrimination at the National Equality March (Video)

During the lead-up to the National Equality March on October 10, 2009, I met Shannon of Saratoga, Florida. She was standing in protest in Mt. Vernon Square outside Barack Obama’s speech to the Human Rights Campaign, particularly advocating for immigration reform.

A transcript of our conversation:

Shannon: I’m Shannon from Sarasota, Florida, here trying to demand equal rights.

Irregular Times: And why are you here in particular? What’s the stake for you?

Shannon in Mt. Vernon Square, Discussing Binational Relationships and Immigration Discrimination, October 10, 2009Shannon: I’m in a binational relationship. As a matter of federal law, DOMA only allows marriage between a man and a woman, and federally, it doesn’t allow me, having a same-sex partner from — she’s British, but whatever it is, you can’t sponsor your partner through a civil union or anything because of the law that’s established.

IT: That is a legal inequality that means you can’t sponsor someone you consider to be your life partner…

Shannon: She is my life partner, yes.

IT: … you would marry if you could.

Shannon: Yes, a lot of people have to choose their country over their loved one. It’s like, you either leave your country, because you’re not going to leave the person you love, or… well, three years I’ve been struggling with the relationship, going back and forth and obeying the laws, and trying to…

IT: Three years going back and forth to Britain? So you’ve had to pay a significant economic cost for this.

Shannon: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

IT: And a loss of time? Does it make it hard for you to get the work done that you do?

Shannon: Oh, yes.

IT: So what’s the DC solution? What’s the policy solution?

Shannon: Basically, it’s to pass federal recognition for marriage in all 50 states. Equality. Equal rights for everyone. It has to be on a federal level, though, because even in situations where they allow civil unions, it doesn’t even count! They say, oh, no, it’s not really your spouse. Even though they’ve fought for all these rights to get civil unions, they’re not getting the same rights. So I’m going to have to go to court.

IT: Even if you live in Massachusetts, say, and I know you told me you don’t live in Massachusetts, but if you did…

Shannon: because of DOMA…

IT: because of DOMA, it wouldn’t be recognized federally, and you wouldn’t be able to sponsor your spouse if you were married in Massachusetts.

Shannon: Yes! That’s right. It’s very true. And that’s why it has to happen at a federal level. And even if it did happen in Massachusetts, remember, there are a lot of states out there. I live in Florida, you know, so that’s never…. I just think it’s time that we had equal rights all the way around. If it’s done at the federal level, there’s no overriding equal rights.

IT: Thank you very much.

Shannon: Thank you.

H.R. 1024 and H.R. 2709 are two bills before the Congress to remedy immigration discrimination against lesbian and gay couples. Learn more about them, and the extent to which the LGBT Equality Caucus is in support of them, in report form here.

Those two bills are limited measures. Shannon’s ultimate solution — the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act — has been proposed in Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s H.R. 3567. Check here to see if your representative is a cosponsor. If not: call and ask him or her to cosponsor the bill.

3 comments to Shannon Speaks on Immigration Discrimination at the National Equality March (Video)

  • Brittancus

    Now they want to push another BLANKET AMNESTY upon us. The Democrats have promised those already here a path to citizenship, that defies all logic. It means access to our health care reform instantly, totalization of social security with those from South of the border. It means sharing your retirement with the majority of foreign nationals who been sponging of Americans for decades. It means more welfare for the old, the indigent who will follow on, through chain migration. It means your living standards falling to that of third world existence. If Amnesty passes do you think for one minute that those without hope in other countries are—NOT–going to pour through our porous border? I’m getting old, but I fear for my son’s future, my family. I have my pensions, but where do you stand? Will you get a pension upon retirement? Our infrastructure has suffered, because we send our young people to fight foreign wars for special interests. For years those who supposedly embody us in Washington, have seriously neglected our road, rail, utilities and communications network. The special interests are the multi-national companies, who have no loyalty to America, the people or the US Constitution. Then there are the majority of our politicians, who have slowly succumbed to business handouts? The only thing they have any loyalty to, is filling their own bank accounts with campaign contributions and undisclosed lucrative gifts. DID AMERICA COME ALL THIS WAY TO SINK BELOW A LAYER OF GREED AND UNBELIEVABLE CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON, SINCE THE TIME OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

    We should replace the pit of Vipers led by Sen. Harry Reid and joined by Liberal Democrat leaders last week–KILLED–by a vote of 61 to 38 shot down Senator Vitters amendment of that would have withdrawn federal funds to–SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES. It is more taxpayer money being stolen to support illegal families, gang members and other heinous criminals who broached our laws. The IRS is actually extracting the money you earn, to take it in April, to support Anchor families included with the 20 million to thirty million people that should be ejected from our nation. Homeland security run by Napolitano is in deep collusion with sleaze that is catered to in Washington. Perhaps–just perhaps if we used public funding for election Campaigns for the politicians, it would assist in removing the corruption in DC, severing the lobbyists. Speaker of the House is another problem, who runs her vineyards with illegal foreign workers in CALIFORNIA. But that is just scratching the surface of both parties as they are perpetually involved in running the country for the globalists.

    Sen.David Vitter offered an amendment to sever Federal funds to SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES, but as always they failed to observe the “Rule of Law.” The vote went along party lines except for three Republicans who voted with the Democrats to table the amendment. One Democrat voted against the motion – Landrieu (LA). Even though we can throw the conspirators out, when they come up for re-election it will have little effect? Even though they lose their seats, they will be reimbursed by their corporate friends with nice civilian desk jobs, with bloated pay checks.

    Only if we stand together and demand E-Verify program, our uniformed police right to question and detain people of unauthorized immigration status 287 G? Hopefully next year Americans will see through the greed, in the Senate and house and start by–REMOVING–Sen. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Both have millions of illegal aliens living off taxpayers in California and Nevada. GO and investigate their immigration grading and every lawmaker at NUMBERSUSA website. Vote them out? WE MUST HAVE E-VERIFY AS A MANDATED LAW, SEN. HARRY REID SOLD US OUT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY AT 202-224-3121 and give them an ULTIMATUM. Businesses that hire the millions of illegal aliens are bleeding us dry, because we pay for the health care and education and for hundreds of thousands in the prisons. Your tax dollars are paying for warm cells and California has the largest proportion of any state. MAKE ENTERING AMERICA A CLASS ONE FELONY, LIKE OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES. EVEN MEXICO YOU ARE DRAGGED INTO ONE OF THOSE REPUGNANT PRISONS.

    The fact is uncomplicated that E-Verify WORKS! And it is up, running and operational, so that illegal foreign workers other than a few using counterfeit documents will be discovered and eliminated from the workplace. Th Special interest lobbyists want it dropped, because it has grown in popularity and more sincere Pro-American companies are using it? Another simple fact is that its—SUCCEEDING! It is now hurting the elusive Council of Foreign Relations agenda to destabilize American workers and substitute even more cut-rate even a government agency, but a Quasi agency that is a kind of sinister think tank. For years they have been formatting their power to undo the poorly built border fence, wreck inspections at airports, so millions more can pour into American and steal jobs. Nor does matter to the illicit ACLU, a communist inspired group or business consortium’s, who owe no loyalty to US workers? It is a case of drowning America in low wage recruits, who are not just working in the fields, but janitors, fast food, factories, warehouses and higher paying jobs then citizens and legal employees realize?. AMERICAN WORKERS MUST MAKE A STAND. Anybody who legally displays the E-Verify sign should get the customers dollars, those who don’t comply should be absolutely BOYCOTTED. I go to El Pollo Loco, but not to McDonalds-because I haven’t seen the E-Verify sign yet? Same I only try to buy AMERICAN? But that is even becoming more indefinable, because many parts of products are imported in from cheap labor countries, killing our own manufacturing base. WE ARE SELF-INFLICTING OUR OWN WOUNDS?

    The same with not training our own workers and instead imported significantly more labor from other lands by the millions each year. Thus we cheat our own industries. We can beat this, by electing politicians who sign a–CONTRACT– stating American workers come first? Not those just affirming an oath of office, since to many it’s meaningless. These contracts can be published and shown to the public and the national media. We are cutting our own throats in so many ways, because many bona-fide US Americans don’t bother to vote the political corruption–OUT OF OFFICE. Most of the lawmakers are out for gain, not truly there to protect the American poor, not protecting our vulnerable senior’s, not even really protecting our military, if they even come home? With the health care reform as a major issue, then research you’re local, state of federal lawmaker and locate their screened interests in pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, insurance, billing companies or anything that exudes money? They are just coveting their own interests? THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE THE ULTIMATE POWER, TO STOP THIS TRAVESTY OF OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS. Even our police departments are under attack by pro illegal immigrant politicians and open border crazies, which includes an old timer like Sheriff Joe Ariapo. He was following federal law called 287 G, to apprehend criminal aliens. But their all Criminals. They entered a sovereign nation without permission. Joe will thankfully carry on under state law and nothing will deter him? IT SHOULD BE MADE A FIRST CLASS FELONY AS IT IS IN DEVELOPED NATIONS.

    • Jim

      Well, wasn’t that special.

      You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about in this case. What’s being proposed is NOT a “blanket amnesty.” It has nothing to do with illegal immigration. H.R. 1024 and H.R. 2709 simply lend equality to an already existing category of legal immigration: sponsorship of spouses, and…

      … hang on.

      Oh, I gotcha. Just checked. We’re not having a conversation. You’re just cutting and pasting this around the internet. Nice to meet you, “Dave Francis.”

  • qs

    Jim check out the 2 antiwar radio interviews today. They were especially good.

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