Archive for November, 2010

Join MFSA at UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Visit the UN on Palestine Day

On Monday, November 29, 2010 the United Nations will observe its annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  The Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) has invited David M. Graybeal to take interested persons at Drew University and elsewhere as a delegation on that day.  It is not necessary to be a member of MFSA to participate.

At 10:00 there will be a conference of non-governmental organizations (NGO's) to which the secretary of the UN General Assembly usually speaks, followed by a representative of the Palestinians, the Arab League, and representatives of a number of nations who wish to voice their support for the Palestinians.

At 1:00 pm this session is adjourned and lunch may be had at the United Nations cafeteria.  The UN Bookstore and many exhibits are open during this period.

At 3:00 pm the General Assembly gathers and discussion of the status of Palestine is on the agenda for the afternoon.  Since the past year has seen many dramatic developments between Israel and the Palestinians, this promises to be a dramatic discussion.

A bus to the UN will leave the Drew campus at 8:00 am and will leave the UN at 5:00 pm to return to Drew.  The round trip bus fare is $20.00, payable on the bus.  Lunch in the cafeteria will probably be from five to seven dollars.  Some may wish to take train and taxi.

Persons who wish to participate should send an email to dgraybea@drew.edu, identifying themselves and whether or not they wish to join the bus contingent. Each should take identifying documents (a passport, driver’s license with photo, Drew ID, and/or other such identifiers.)  The UN will issue a pass to each person, good for the day.  All should be prepared to go through the safety screening that is similar to those used when boarding an air flight. 

Graybeal must submit your name and email address to the UN some days before the conference in order for your credentials to be prepared. Please register with him by Monday, November 22 if you wish to go.

Uniting American Families Act

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Uniting American Families Act
Methodist Federation for Social Action

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would end the long-standing discrimination lesbian and gay bi-national couples face under current immigration law.  If passed, the law would allow nearly 36,000 families to be reunited. This bill would allow and require lesbian and gay bi-national couples to petition in the same way – and with the same rigorous process of documentation – as straight couples.   


With some members of the faith community withholding support of UAFA, it is imperative that groups such as MFSA speak out for the legislation.  We are encouraging individual MFSA chapters to sign on in support of UAFA.  If your chapter would like to co-sign this letter, please contact Jennifer Mihok, MFSA Outreach and Communications Director.
 
Click here to download the letter, or read below.
 

August 1, 2010 


Dear Member of Congress:


We, the undersigned faith-based leaders and organizations, join together to call upon President Obama and our elected officials in Congress to enact inclusive, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that ends the long-standing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrant families. 


Our diverse faith traditions teach us to welcome and care for our neighbors with love and compassion. Of the many great injustices in this broken immigration system, family separation is one of the most egregious. Family is the bedrock of any society and is critical in the development of healthy individuals and strong communities. Immigration policies should make expeditious family reunification a top priority and should include all families as part of that foundation. For us, this is a clear matter of simple justice.


Under current immigration law, gay and lesbian people cannot sponsor their foreign-born partner for an immigration visa, no matter how long they have been together or how committed their relationship. With no ability to sponsor their partners, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are being forced to live abroad, disrupting their careers, uprooting their children, and breaking ties with family, local communities and places of worship. No one should be forced to choose between their country and the person they love. It is time that U.S. immigration laws kept families together instead of tearing them apart.


There are over twenty countries- including strong allies such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Israel and South Africa – that recognize the permanent partnerships of lesbian and gay couples within their immigration laws.  The United States should also be a leader in protecting the equal rights of its citizens and should not continue this discriminatory treatment in its immigration laws.


The Uniting American Families Act (HR 1024 / S 424) would end the long-standing discrimination lesbian and gay binational couples face under current immigration law. This bill would allow lesbian and gay binational couples to petition in the same way – and with the same rigorous process of documentation – as straight couples.  We endorse the Uniting American Families Act which upholds the fundamental value of keeping families together.  We urge Congress to pass this critically important legislation as part of any comprehensive immigration reform measure.  


We call on President Obama, and Members of Congress, to provide the leadership and moral courage to pass inclusive and comprehensive immigration reform legislation. No reform can truly be called comprehensive unless it includes LGBT immigrant families as well. We are committed to working together for this long overdue and much-needed reform. We must all work to honor our country’s commitment to families and its rich history as a nation of immigrants.


Sincerely,


Faith Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act

National Office:212 East Capitol St., NE,Washington, DC 20003 * tel: 202.546.8806 *email: mfsa@mfsaweb.org