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Steve Ralls
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Steve Ralls is director of communications for Immigration Equality and is a widely quoted source on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Steve has been widely quoted in the media, including in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press and other national media outlets. He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, CBS News on LOGO and on hundreds of local radio and television news stations across the country. He has also coordinated coverage of LGBT issues on national newsmagazines, including 60 Minutes, PrimeTime Live and 20/20, and worked to place hundreds of positive editorials on LGBT topics, including more than a dozen editorials in The Washington Post.

A recognized authority on the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian and gay military personnel, he spent more than 8 years with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, as the group’s director of communications, and also served in the same capacity with Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Steve has placed hundreds of media stories and served as a primary spokesperson on LGBT issues. He is also a regular contributor to The Bilerico Project, The Progressive Media Project, and Ambiente Magazine.

Entries by Steve Ralls

My Family, Together: Calling on the President to Stop LGBT Green-Card Denials

(43) Comments | Posted March 8, 2012 | 8:14 PM

Frances Herbert just wants to keep her family together.

Frances, who lives in Vermont, is legally married to her spouse, Takako Ueda, who is originally from Japan. Despite their marriage, however, they are facing an uncertain future because federal immigration laws do not allow Frances to sponsor Takako for residency...

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Inside the Mystery of a Son 'Gone' But Not Forgotten

(6) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 3:34 PM

One could be forgiven, in the midst of the new documentary Gone, for thinking they may have wandered into a David Lynch film. Like Lynch's most surreal masterpieces, Gone tells the story of a dark and mesmerizing mystery, a woman searching for answers, and what seems to be...

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"Dear Mr. President:" Families Plead Not to Be Torn Apart

(13) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 3:23 PM

On August 24th, San Francisco resident Bradford Wells sat down and penned a letter to the president of the United States. "Dear Mr. President," Wells said, "... I am writing you now because I desperately need your help."

Only a few weeks earlier, Wells learned that the Obama...

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One Family Divided, Under Law

(42) Comments | Posted June 6, 2011 | 3:40 PM

In just one week, Bradford Wells could lose the person he built his entire life around.

Wells, an American citizen, has been with his partner Anthony Makk -- who is Australian -- for 19 years. The couple married in Massachusetts seven years ago. They have a built home, and a...

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The Economic Case for Inclusive Immigration Reform

(42) Comments | Posted January 26, 2011 | 3:05 PM

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress, once again, to tackle the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. In his first remarks on the topic since the Senate voted down the DREAM Act -- which would have provided young people a path to...

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The Spirit Moves Her: DJ Alyson Calagna's Omtronica

(1) Comments | Posted December 27, 2010 | 5:16 PM

Can an American DJ turn eastern mysticism into a mainstream dance floor hit? Alyson Calagna thinks so, and has set out to prove that music can be transformed into devotion through a unique interpretation of spiritual sound.

Calagna, who gained international recognition playing for sold-out crowds at events in the...

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The History Makers

(2) Comments | Posted December 20, 2010 | 8:25 AM

Saturday's historic Senate vote to move forward in ending the military's unconscionable "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service members marks a turning point for our country and our armed forces. At long last, our nation's military will soon bestow upon our men and women in...

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Thanksgiving Apart: LGBT Families Face Separation and Exile

(55) Comments | Posted November 25, 2010 | 9:00 AM

As most Americans begin the holiday season on Thursday, in a national observance of "thanks," many will come together with family, friends and loved ones. But for one group of Americans, the holidays can be an especially painful experience. Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in relationships with...

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Divided by Law: An American Takes On Immigration to Reunite with the Person He Loves

(11) Comments | Posted September 8, 2010 | 8:39 AM

Roi Whaley probably never imagined the United States government would play a role in ripping his family apart.

The Gulfport, Mississippi resident has deep roots along America's Gulf Coast. He worked, for 17 years, at one of Gulfport's best-known casinos. When Hurricane Katrina struck, Roi was on the ground....

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Engage, Lobby, Love: Elizabeth Gilbert's Passionate Advocacy for LGBT Immigrant Families

(4) Comments | Posted August 13, 2010 | 8:25 AM

By now, there probably aren't many people who don't know Elizabeth Gilbert's life story. The best-selling author, who traveled millions of miles in what ended up being a search for her own, centered self, caused a sensation with her diary of personal discovery, also known as Eat, Pray,...

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This Congress, This Year: Families Facing Separation Counting on Immigration Reform

(10) Comments | Posted July 14, 2010 | 9:34 AM

Earlier this month, when President Obama delivered an eloquent call-to-action on comprehensive immigration reform, there was an unexpected audience glued to their television sets at home: Lesbian and gay families who were hanging on the President's every word.

Immigration and LGBT rights are not generally thought of in...

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A Gay Immigrant Reaches for a DREAM

(28) Comments | Posted May 17, 2010 | 7:14 PM

This evening in Arizona, a young, gay man is literally putting his life on the line.

In today's Arizona, the fact that Mohammad Abdollahi is willing to speak up would be cause enough for concern. Abdollahi, who has been in the United States since the age of 3, risks arrest...

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On Eve of Historic March, Hope for LGBT Immigrant Families

(11) Comments | Posted March 20, 2010 | 10:21 AM

On Sunday afternoon, as many as 100,000 people are expected to descend on the National Mall in Washington and call on President Obama and Congressional leaders to keep a campaign promise: Tackling comprehensive immigration reform this year. Advocates rallying for a diverse array of critical immigration issues -- from a...

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HuffPo Impact Premiere: A New Documentary from Immigration Equality

(7) Comments | Posted February 14, 2010 | 9:36 PM

On January 28, 2009, there was a knock on Shirley Tan's door.

The mother of two, originally from The Philippines, was starting her morning as usual. She was getting her 12-year-old twin sons ready for school, and preparing to see her partner of 23 years, Jay Mercado, off to work....

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Come As You Are: The End of America's HIV Ban

(3) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 8:49 AM

In about 72 hours, a plane from The Netherlands will arrive at JFK Airport in New York and two passengers onboard will, for the first time in more than two decades, be able to step safely onto U.S. soil. The arrival of Clemens Ruland and Hugo Bausch will also signal...

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Growing Calls for Immigration Reform That Leaves No Family Behind

(13) Comments | Posted October 21, 2009 | 9:44 AM

Congress has promised to begin the process of reforming America's broken immigration system later this year. There is widespread consensus that reform is urgently needed, and a growing insistence among lawmakers that any reform effort must adhere to our nation's long-standing commitment to family unification. Under current immigration law, millions...

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U.S. Immigration Law: Tearing Apart Life, Love & Home

(9) Comments | Posted October 5, 2009 | 9:33 AM

On Sunday, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans - and their allies - will travel from nearly every corner of the country to converge on Capitol Hill and call on lawmakers to support full equality for the LGBT community. The event, named the National Equality March, comes on...

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Comprehensive, Inclusive Immigration Reform: The Most Important Gift of All

(11) Comments | Posted July 21, 2009 | 12:34 PM

Steve and Joe live in the shadow of the capital, both literally and figuratively.

The Washington, D.C. couple, who have been together for almost a decade, recently bought a new home in the city's Columbia Heights neighborhood. Two weeks ago, they were married in Connecticut. And in early August,...

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A "Penultimate Step" in the Fight to End the HIV Travel Ban

(3) Comments | Posted June 30, 2009 | 11:48 AM

In a move that closes the gap between two White House administrations, numerous government agencies and a year-old act of Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued regulations that would end the United States' decades-old HIV travel and immigration ban. Originally authorized as part of President...

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We Are Tearing Families Apart, When We Should Be Uniting Them

(5) Comments | Posted April 15, 2009 | 1:01 PM

Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado are, by all accounts, a picture-perfect family. The two have been together - happily - for more than two decades. They have adorable 12-year-old twins. They married in 2004. And they are hard-working, productive members of their community in Pacifica, California, where they have built...

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