Atlanta: Include LGBT in immigration reform

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imageThe Atlanta City Council and Mayor Kasim Reed stepped into the contentious issue of adding LGBT families to the immigration reform effort by urging the passage of Uniting American Families Act.

Earlier this month, the council unanimously approved and Reed signed a resolution urging the state’s Congressional delegation to pass the legislation, which would allow U.S. citizens and green-card holders to sponsor their same-sex partners for residency. The measure was pushed this week by Congressional Democrats, including chief sponsor Rep. Jerrold Nadler, as a way to broaden support for immigration reform.

With the resolution, Atlanta joins nearly two-dozen other cities and legislative bodies that have passed similar resolutions, the statewide gay rights group Georgia Equality said in a press release Friday. The council approved the resolution on July 6; Reed signed it two days later.

“I am pleased that the City of Atlanta joins a notable list of municipalities across the country that have passed resolutions strongly supporting the passage of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA),” City Council member Alex Wan (photo), the council’s only openly gay member, says in the release. “I am particularly proud that so many of my colleagues signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution, which the Atlanta City Council passed unanimously.”

Georgia Equality applauded Wan, Reed and the council for the resolution.

“As a city with an international reputation for the advancement of human rights, it is important that our City leaders go on record in support of ending the current immigration policies that unfairly discriminate against gay and lesbian couples,” Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s executive director, says in the release. “We would also like to extend our appreciation to Councilman Alex Wan and his leadership in introducing and passing this important resolution.”

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