Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A New Road for Binational Couples: Marta Donayre Joined a Band of Immigrants on a Cross-Country Bus Tour and Discovered a Community with a Broad Vision of Justice

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A New Road for Binational Couples: Marta Donayre Joined a Band of Immigrants on a Cross-Country Bus Tour and Discovered a Community with a Broad Vision of Justice

Article excerpt

When Marta Donayre first heard about the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, she saw a golden opportunity to educate people about the plight of binational same-sex couples. Donayre, a Brazilian native, and her U.S.-born partner, Leslie Bulbuk, are one of the thousands of gay and lesbian couples who must live with the threat of separation through deportation because they cannot get married. The couple founded the gay immigration advocacy group Love Sees No Borders in 2001.

Inspired by the freedom rides of the 1960s, the immigrant ride was started this year by a group of workers who want to build support for legislation to give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. The event included roughly 900 riders who boarded 18 buses leaving from 10 different cities beginning September 20, making over 100 stops on their way to Washington, D.C., for a series of rallies and meetings with members of Congress. The riders then traveled to Queens, N.Y., where over 100,000 people gathered at a final rally on October 4.

Donayre spoke to The Advocate from her San Francisco home just before departing on the ride.

What was the motivation behind the ride?

The idea is that this nation was built by immigrants and is still being built by immigrants, and yet, especially after September 11, immigrants are getting a very bad rap, and many are being abused. So there was this impetus to get the entire community together and say. "It's time to shed light onto our stories and show how the system can be very cruel and affect the lives of the people who make this country great."

How did you get involved with the ride?

In working for the Permanent Partners Immigration Act [which would allow the foreign-born partners of U.S. gay men and lesbians the same immigration rights as married spouses] and immigration for LGBT people in general, one of the things that I have personally taken upon myself to do is to reach out to non-LGBT groups. …

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