WASHINGTON, DC - After the Senate Judiciary Committee members passed a bipartisan immigration bill, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), responded to the withdrawal of Sen. Patrick Leahy's amendment in support of equal immigration rights for same-sex binational couples:
"We applaud the Committee's passage of a strong bipartisan immigration bill. Such legislation will provide millions of hardworking aspiring citizens an opportunity to earn citizenship. As we continue to lift our voices, we are now another step closer toward achieving commonsense immigration reform.
"Our excitement about the bill's progress is only tempered by the powerful call for immigration equality in the Committee that was not answered today. We stand in solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters, moved tremendously by the statements of Senators, particularly the words of Senator Patrick Leahy, who rightly said that the time for marriage equality and recognition of same-sex binational couples under immigration law has come.
"Although we are deeply disappointed that Senators who are committed to equality were forced to make a choice between protecting the rights of same-sex binational couples and keeping a tenuous coalition together, we will continue to advocate to create the most accessible pathway to citizenship for ALL families."