Gay Rights Amendment That “Will Kill” Senate’s Immigration Bill Added Anyway

leahyImmigration reform continues its slow, painful death in Congress — where hope and old white men go to die — as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy introduced a gay rights amendment to the Senate’s immigration bill on Tuesday.

Republicans fear the inclusion of LGBTs will sink the legislation much like a rubber inner tube adrift on the sharp rocks of freedom.

“It’ll kill the bill,” said perpetually parched Florida Senator Marco Rubio, himself the son of Cuban immigrants and (let’s hope not) a potential presidential candidate in 2016.”There is a coalition of groups who are supporting immigration reform who will not support it if that’s in there.”

Rubio is seen as a key to attracting conservative sponsorship of the bill, but Republicans have been butting heads with Democrats for weeks over LGBT protections. The bill is expected to head to the full Senate in June and Leahy might delay his amendment till then instead of taking it up in committee.

Either way, the Vermont Senator maintains that “for immigration reform to be truly comprehensive, it must include protections for all families,” Leahy said. “We must end the discrimination that gay and lesbian families face in our immigration law.”

President Obama reaffirmed his support of including LGBTs in the immigration bill, noting that it was “the right thing to do,” though he acknowledged that concessions will have to be made. The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the bill on Thursday.

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  • Cam

    Great, One more opportunity for the GOP to show voters how bigoted they are.

  • Polaro

    Seriously, why do they care so much about gay people? They are more fixated on gay sex than I am, and that is really hard to believe.

  • Dresden

    The GOP’s base is made up of people who are either bigoted themselves or don’t care enough about equal rights to refrain from voting for someone who is. What Rubio said is true… immigration reform will never see the light of day if the Dems insist on putting in protections for same sex couples, no matter how desperately it’s needed. That doesn’t mean I don’t think they should try. I guess undocumented immigrants will have to wait for equal rights just like the rest of us.

  • hyhybt

    “We must end the discrimination that gay and lesbian families face in our immigration law.”

    The discrimination isn’t *in* our immigration law. It’s in our marriage law.

    But if the bill dies, it won’t be over this. There are too many who don’t want the rest of it either, but have to try to look good. They’d find an excuse to block final passage regardless; the gay thing is just slightly more convenient than they’d have otherwise.

  • bmwblonde

    For President Obama to say, regarding the LGBT rider to the immigration bill, that “of course concessions will have to be made” – is INCREDIBLY redundant (for him). He has done nothing BUT offer “pro-active” concessions to the crazy right wing in this country. I wish he could just figure out that (a) He’s good enough without kissing their butts and (b) He is the . . . PRESIDENT, with a bully pulpit which he – a terrific speaker – could actually USE. But no. He will just keep “negotiating with terrorists” until his last day in office.

  • tdx3fan

    The problem is that in order for this bill to include LGBT couples it has to redefine the definition of family by a national governmental entity. That will never pass the House, and it will most likely not pass the Senate.

    That is not to say that LGBT couples should not be able to sponsor, because they most absolutely should, but if this bill went through it would at least give everyone that is a foreign immigrant the path to citizenship. If LGBT rights have to take a back seat to immigration rights (which will help LGBT couples anyways because of the path to citizenship) then so be it. The important thing is that this bill passes.

  • tdx3fan

    @hyhybt: I absolutely disagree. As the bill is currently designed, there is a very good chance of it passing. Even the Republicans realize that they cannot continue to hope for national office with only 25% of the vote. The wave of this country is towards inclusion of immigrants, and Republicans will ride that wave or get crushed by it. They watch polls, and they are very shrewd at what they do. Never underestimate the party of lies!

  • tdx3fan

    @bmwblonde: He is the president. The presidency is, by design, the weakest of all of the offices at the national level. He does not have any real power other than to send troops off for 6 months to a military operation. He has the power to veto laws he does not like, but he does not have the power to make law. We have a Congress that is still controlled by the Republicans (either through filibuster in the Senate of the majority in the House) and the only way Obama can accomplish anything is through a great deal of compromise. Your belief that he can turn back the tides is almost as delusional as his was in 2008. He does not have the power you think he does, so he better start caving a little to get this country progressing while he still can. Right now, he makes it look like the Democrats cannot accomplish anything that they say they can, and he is becoming the laughing stock of the entire country. People care less about what gets done than they do that something actually does get done, so if this does not change look to see Republicans do really well in 2016.

  • alterego1980

    @tdx3fan: I agree with you completely. History (and most people now) will judge Obama and other democrats by what gets done and what doesn’t. The “We tried & failed, but only because of the pesky Republicans” is not a good excuse. I DO think he has a lot of influence by means of being the President and that counts for something. He and the democrats should fight for LGBT rights in any bill when applicable.

    I wonder though, if the SC rules for marriage equality to be recognized on the federal level in June, does that make this whole conversation moot? Recognition of any state’s marriage policy (including same sex marriage) should, in my opinion, nullify any difference. The SC will undoubtedly be thinking of these consequences as they decide if we’re equal in the eyes of the Law.

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