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NJ Congressional Delegation (Including the First Republicans in the Nation) Makes 'It Gets Better' Video

Runyan

Several members of New Jersey's congressional delegation — seven Democrats and three Republicans — appear in a new video for the "It Gets Better" project.

Senators Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez, and Representatives Rush Holt, Bill Pascrell, Albio Sires, Donald Payne, Steve Rothman participated, along with Republican Representatives Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, and Jon Runyan.

These are the first — the first — congressional Republicans in the country to appear in an 'It Gets Better' video, which is quite sad in the big picture. It's about time.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Rep. Rush Holt Records Video Calling for Immigration Equality, End to Deportations of Binational Gay Couples

Holt

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), who called on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to halt deportations of married binational same-sex couples in a letter earlier this month, recorded a video first shown last week at a Princeton University Marriage Equality event in support of Josh Vandiver and Henry Velandia, a married binational couple fighting to stop a deportation that will tear them apart on May 6.

In the video, Holt calls for passage of immigration equality via the Uniting American Families Act, and an end to discriminatory deportations.

"There is no second class in our country, or at least there shouldn't be..."

Watch Holt's excellent video, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via stop the deportations)

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Congressman Rush Holt Calls on Janet Napolitano to Stop Deportations Involving Married Same-Sex Binational Couples

For the first time since the administration changed its tune on DOMA, a Congressman has asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to resolve the deportation case of his constituents and halt deportations of gay and lesbian binational couples.

Vndiver_holt Congressman Rush Holt sent a letter to Napolitano last week urging her to take action on the case of Josh Vandiver and Henry Velandia (pictured, right, with Holt, center), who have been fighting deportation since 2009 and working as advocates for the campaign to help other binational same-sex couples in similar situations.

Writes Stop the Deportations:

In the letter, Holt writes that their case "illustrates the injustice and unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act" and notes that "our immigration policies must work to unite families, not rip them apart." As the Congressman notes, Josh and Henry were lawfully married in the state of Connecticut, but because of DOMA Josh is prevented from petitioning Henry for a green card. In fact, Josh did file an alien relative petition for Henry earlier this year, and that petition was denied. Henry faces a final deportation hearing on May 6. On that day an Immigration Judge in Newark, New Jersey will decide whether Henry will be deported to Venezuela.

Holt asks for a suspension of all deportations involving same-sex married binational couples until legal questions regarding DOMA have been settled.

Read his letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

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What Has Obama Done as 'Fierce Advocate in Chief' for Gays?

Maddow_obama

Last night, Rachel Maddow went after Obama and yesterday's Supreme Court decision upholding the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, refusing to hear a case brought by 12 former servicemembers (Pietrangelo v. Gates).

Said Maddow: "It's the first cast to feature the Obama administration arguing at the Supreme Court against a gay soldier in favor of DADT, telling the court the policy is 'rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.' I wonder what his record would be like so far if he weren't such a 'fierce advocate' for gay rights?"

Maddow also interviewed Congressman Rush Holt on the topic.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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