With 1.4 million Latino and Latina residents, New Jersey has the seventh largest Latino and Latina community among all 50 U.S. States. Our brothers and sisters in the Latino community comprise 16 percent of our state’s population.
Many issues face New Jersey’s Latino LGBT community, including marriage equality, immigration equality, economic and legal discrimination, and the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. For communities that face multiple discriminatory barriers, including equal access to health care, the failure of New Jersey’s civil union law to provide relationship equality has added yet another barrier. Marriage equality would alleviate the financial, emotional, and legal burdens that compound discrimination.
Garden State Equality has a formidable Latino and Latina Caucus. If you are a member of the Latino and Latina community and would like to be involved in Garden State Equality, email us at Latino@GardenStateEquality.org with your name and phone number or call us at (973) GSE-LGBT.
The support for marriage equality among New Jersey’s Latino community has been tremendous. According to a 2006 Zogby poll of New Jersey with similar findings in recent polls, 81% of Latinos across New Jersey support marriage equality. Indeed, the Latino LGBT community has a particular stake in the issue.
As the Rev. Anahi Galante, cochair of Garden State Equality’s Lati no and Latina Caucus, testified before the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission:
“Same-sex couple households in which both partners are Latino or Latina earn at least $25,000 less on average per year than white Latino or Latina same-sex couple households.
“Given the income and other disparities between Latino and Latina same-sex couples and much of the rest of society, Latino and Latina people in New Jersey are among those being hurt most by our state’s continued denial of marriage equality.
“The denial of marriage equality affects the Latina women especially. Fifty-four percent of Latina same-sex couples, where both partners are women, have at least one child. Female Latina couples are raising children at nearly 80 percent the rate of Latino and Latina married opposite-sex couples.”
In addition to working for marriage equality at the state level, Garden State Equality passionately recognizes the need for immigration equality at the federal level to end discrimination against binational couples where one partner is a U.S. citizen. Garden State Equality believes the nation must adopt an immigration policy that respects the extraordinary contributions of our Latino and Latina residents across New Jersey and the rest of America.
Immigration Equality is the leading national organization that works to end anti-LGBT discrimination in federal law.