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Jim Kolbe Hub



04/19/2007


Jim Kolbe: GOP Rep. Randy Forbes' Anti-Gay Crusade is 'Outrageous'

Openly gay former congressman Jim Kolbe is speaking out against Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, who has recently begun a push to prevent funding of openly gay candidates within the Republican party.

The Washington Blade reports:

6a00d8341c730253ef019b022fff49970b-800wiKolbe, who served in Congress from 1985 to 2007, told the Washington Blade via email that Forbes’ statements against candidates like Richard Tisei and Carl DeMaio are “outrageous” and merit a response from House leadership.

“They represent everything the party is trying to get away from,” Kolbe said. “Both candidates have very good chances of being elected. Forbes, apparently, would rather lose the two seats and further jeopardize our chances of holding the majority. I am pleased that Cong. Walden was quick to say the NRCC would support whoever was nominated, but I would like to see all of the leadership condemn such bigoted remarks as those made by Forbes.”

Forbes has found a supporter in wing-nut Peter LaBarbera who issued the following statement:

"The Republican party platform is opposed for the most part to homosexual activism, especially gay so-called marriage. So Forbes understands that the Republican Party should not be in the business of promoting candidates that are going to promote sexual immorality."

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner went on record as saying he does support openly gay GOP candidates.


Former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) to Marry Partner in D.C. This Weekend

Former Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) will marry his partner of eight years, Hector Alfonso, in D.C. on Saturday, the Daily Star reports:

Kolbe"We're very happy," he said. "We're very committed."

The two have talked about marrying for a long time, Kolbe said. After sorting out Alfonso's immigration status, Kolbe said the two are ready to marry.

They plan a simple ceremony at the Cosmos Club, officiated by a minister, with readings and prayers...

Kolbe said it's "unfortunate" that Arizona doesn't yet recognize same-sex marriage, saying everyone should be able to find the happiness he's found and be able to marry the person of his or her choice.

Kolbe recently urged the Senate Judiciary Comittee to adopt gay-inclusive immigration reform, telling them of his plans to marry this weekend.

Said Kolbe:

We are immensely fortunate that Hector has now secured an investment visa that allows him to remain here with me. Many other couples, however, are not as fortunate. Even if they, like us, have a marriage, civil union or life-long commitment to each other, their ability to secure a permanent solution that would allow them to build a home, family or business together is elusive and difficult to realize. It shouldn’t be that way, and this Committee has an opportunity to fix this problem.


Gay Former Rep. Jim Kolbe Urges Senate Panel to Adopt LGBT-Inclusive Immigration Reform: VIDEO

Kolbe

Earlier today I reported that gay former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) had testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging the 'Gang of Eight' to adopt LGBT-inclusive immigration reform.

Kolbe cited his partner Alfonso in his testimony:

On May 18th—just a month from now—Hector and I will legally marry here in the District of Columbia, surrounded by family and friends. We are immensely fortunate that Hector has now secured an investment visa that allows him to remain here with me. Many other couples, however, are not as fortunate. Even if they, like us, have a marriage, civil union or life-long commitment to each other, their ability to secure a permanent solution that would allow them to build a home, family or business together is elusive and difficult to realize. It shouldn’t be that way, and this Committee has an opportunity to fix this problem.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Kolbe is one of 20 witnesses to testify before the Senate panel and the only one whose sole aim is in the service of gay binational couples. This year, Kolbe signed the Republican SCOTUS brief opposing DOMA. In 1996, he was outed by The Advocate for having voted in favor of it.

Continue reading "Gay Former Rep. Jim Kolbe Urges Senate Panel to Adopt LGBT-Inclusive Immigration Reform: VIDEO" »


Former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) Cites 'Future Husband', Asks Senate Panel to Recognize LGBT People in Immigration Bill

As I mentioned this morning, former Congressman Jim Kolbe testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, asking them to include LGBT families in a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

KolbeSaid Kolbe (from prepared remarks):

Eight years ago, I met my partner and future husband, Hector Alfonso. Hector was born in Panama, and came to the Unites States on a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in special education. He has been a dedicated teacher for almost two decades. The schools where he taught, however, could not sponsor him for a green card, and I couldn’t either. Despite being in a committed relationship and despite the fact that he remained in lawful status every day he had been here, Hector was forced to return to Panama when his work visa expired. Our twelve month separation—like that of any American from their spouse—was painful. Hector returned to Panama while he applied for another visa. Eventually, we accomplished this, but it was a long process and it was expensive—far beyond the reach of most families. Our laws should not separate American citizens from their loved ones for such unacceptably long periods of time.

On May 18th—just a month from now—Hector and I will legally marry here in the District of Columbia, surrounded by family and friends. We are immensely fortunate that Hector has now secured an investment visa that allows him to remain here with me. Many other couples, however, are not as fortunate. Even if they, like us, have a marriage, civil union or life-long commitment to each other, their ability to secure a permanent solution that would allow them to build a home, family or business together is elusive and difficult to realize. It shouldn’t be that way, and this Committee has an opportunity to fix this problem.

Read Kolbe's full remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

I'll post video on the site if and when it becomes available.

Continue reading "Former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) Cites 'Future Husband', Asks Senate Panel to Recognize LGBT People in Immigration Bill" »


Former Rep. Jim Kolbe to Urge Senate Panel to Adopt Gay-Inclusive Immigration Reform

Former Congressman Jim Kolbe will urge the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday to add gay partners to a comprehensive immigration reform bill which thus far excludes them, Politico reports:

KolbeKolbe, the second openly gay Republican to serve in Congress, is one of 20 witnesses scheduled to testify at the hearing. But he is the only one whose primary aim is to describe the challenges binational gay couples face, Immigration Equality spokesman Steve Ralls said.

The 11-term congressman from Arizona is expected to talk about the hardship of the current system on his relationship with his partner of eight years, Hector Alfonso, a Panamanian native. Alfonso is now in the U.S. on a green card, but the couple were forced apart for a year because a previous visa expired and the federal government doesn’t grant any legal status to gay couples.

Kolbe is planning to marry on May 18, in Washington D.C.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and John McCain (R-AZ) two members of the so-called 'Gang of Eight', have both said adding gay couples to the comprehensive immigration bill would endanger its passage.

Kolbe signed the Republican SCOTUS brief opposing DOMA. In 1996, he was outed by The Advocate for having voted in favor of it.


Log Cabin Republican Leader Met Mitt Romney at Clandestine 15-Minute Meeting at Virginia Farmhouse

The Washington Blade's Chris Johnson has more on the meeting R. Clarke Cooper had with Romney that led to the Log Cabin Repubiicans' endorsement, and his non-promise of action on ENDA, which took place Oct. 17 at Greenwood Farm in Leesburg, VA:

CooperAccording to Cooper, the Romney campaign took the lead in initiating the meeting — not Log Cabin — after a series of discussions between the group and the campaign. Those in attendance at the meeting, which lasted about 15 minutes, were Romney, gay former U.S. House Rep. Jim Kolbe and Log Cabin staffer Casey Pick and a Romney staffer. Neither Cooper nor Kolbe would identify the campaign staffer who accompanied Romney.

Kolbe, a Log Cabin member who’s also a trustee of the organization, stopped short of saying Romney offered any firm commitments on federal workplace non-discrimination protections, but said they were discussed during the meeting.

“He gives us a firm personal view of opposing workplace discrimination without endorsing ENDA specifically,” Kolbe said. “I think that it’s an area of opportunity where we have an opportunity to make a lot of headway with him.”

Kolbe said he also brought up immigration issues affecting same-sex couples — such as the inability of gay Americans to sponsor their foreign partners for residency. Kolbe faces that problem with his own partner, Hector Alfonso. Kolbe said Romney acknowledged him by nodding, but offered no further response.

Cooper told Buzzfeed that there was no deal on ENDA to secure a Romney endorsement after Nation reporter Ben Adler suggested it in an article posted yesterday.

Cooper said this to Johnson: “I can say with confidence that the Romney administration would work on desirable outcomes for workplace non-discrimination. I’m going to leave it broad like that because I think there’s room for administrative action as well as legislative. I also think it’s probably fair to say that legislation in a form of an ENDA or an ENDA-like legislation is certainly realistic.”


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