US: Latino groups launch push for marriage equality
Leading US Latino groups are backing a campaign to raise awareness of gay rights and marriage equality.
Twenty-one of America’s largest Latino groups have signed up to the Familia es Familia campaign, which was launched on Sunday in Las Vegas.
Polling shows that Latinos are more likely to be favour of marriage equality and other gay rights than other demographic groups.
An April 2012 survey from the Pew Hispanic Center found that 68 per cent of second-generation Latinos said society should accept gay people.
Thomas A Saenz, the president of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF), said in a statement: “The polling shows that many in the Latino community already understand that there is one struggle for equality, a struggle that benefits from appreciating common mission.
“Familia es Familia is a campaign that will help to deepen the understanding that a discriminatory deprivation of rights on any basis is a cause of concern for all. Together, we can overcome all of the irrational biases that adversely affect any member of the Latino community.”
Funding for the initial campaign has been provided by marriage equality group Freedom to Marry.
Other Latino groups involved in the campaign include the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Cuban American National Council, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said: “Latino gay couples seek the freedom to marry to affirm and strengthen their love, their commitment, and their ability to take care of each other and their families; government should not be putting barriers in their way.
“Freedom to Marry is proud to be supporting the Familia es Familia campaign to lift up Hispanic voices and stories as together we make the case for ending the exclusion from marriage.”