As soon as President Obama announced his support for marriage equality earlier this month, pundits and Republican strategists started speculating that the president's pro-equality stance would cost him among Latino voters. They figured that most Latino voters are Catholic, therefore they must be willing to vote against the President because of his support of marriage equality.
This is not first and probably not the last time that that these "experts" make guesses about how my community feels about social issues with hopes that we won't pay attention to the other attacks on Latinos. I'm happy to say that they are wrong. A poll released in April found that Latinos are more supportive of marriage equality than Americans as a whole.
As a community that has fought and continues to fight against bigotry and discrimination , we understand how dangerous it is to pick and choose who deserve equality and respect. Those of us who have dedicated our lives to working for immigrants' rights and workers' rights understand the core American value of equality under the law. A better country for immigrants is a better country for all. A better country for gays and lesbians is a better country for all. We're all in this together.
The anti-gay Right thinks that it can divide Latinos, African Americans and LGBT people by exploiting mutual resentments. They're wrong. There are just as many LGBT people in our communities as there are throughout the country. We too have gay and lesbian hermanos y hermanas, friends and children. Their fight is our fight for justice and equality.
I was thrilled this week when my brothers and sisters at the NAACP announced their public support for marriage equality. The Right's efforts to divide us just won't work.
The gay rights movement is working for many of the same basic rights and dignities that those of us in the immigrants' rights and labor movements have been fighting for decades: workplace rights, economic security, access to opportunity. The gay community has been a strong ally for us in the quest for public policy that treats all people with respect and dignity. We will continue to do the same for them. Con la lucha,
Sí se Puede!
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