After a week of broad hints, Senate Democrats have made it official: they aren’t going to introduce an amendment to include same-sex bi-national couples in immigration reform. Sen. Patrick Leahy had promised to introduce the measure, but during a session of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday night, he turned to his fellow Democrats to find a way out.
‘‘I don’t want to be the senator who asks people to choose between the love of their life and the love of their country,’’ Leahy said, asking for the opinions of others. One after another, Democrats said they love the gays, but they weren’t going to jeopardize immigration reform.
Republicans, being Republicans, had promised to kill the measure entirely if it included any protections for same-sex couples. Democrats, being Democrats, folded.
‘‘I believe in my heart of hearts that what you’re doing is the right and just thing,’’ said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. ‘‘But I believe this is the wrong moment, that this is the wrong bill.’’ Durbin didn’t speculate as to whether there will ever a right moment and a right bill, but if there is it’s years away. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who was the point person for the measure, also announced he would not vote for the amendment if it was introduced, which means he’s probably in for a round of very angry phone calls over the next few days.
With the chorus of “Gee, we wish it weren’t the case but what can you do,” ringing in his ears, Leahy decided with a “heavy heart” not to introduce his amendment. The gay-free reform measure was passed by a 13-5 vote. Now it goes to the Senate floor, where no doubt the full body will find additional ways to love us without lifting a finger for us.
This bill very much needed to pass. It would have never passed with same sex bi-national protections included, especially since the only way that would have worked is to redefine the word family to include LGBT couples in government policy.
If it would have made it past the Senate with this amendment, it would have never made it past the House. When you know what the odds are, you do not spend political capital trying for something that simply will not happen.
I feel for same sex bi-national couples, but immigration reform should be about all immigrants and not simply about same sex couples. Therefore, it should be promoted in the best possible light with the biggest chance of passing.
@tdx3fan: Thanks for “feeling” for us. That makes it all better.
Thankfully we still have hope in June or maybe July. If DOMA section 3 is repealed, this will be a moot point. Hopefully your “feeling for us” will help.
@tdx3fan: Anyway, we have a right to be disappointed and bitter about this. Its effing pathetic that in this day and age we are still second effing class citizens. This shouldn’t even be a damned issue. So, yes, we are disappointed and bitter and we WILL comment to that effect and we will not feel ashamed of doing so. But at least more heteros will come into the country. Yay hets. I just hope they don’t drag in more homophobia along with them.
We’re finding allies in some unexpected places these days. Too bad we can’t rely on our legislators….
Democrats took the gamble they could throw us under the bus on this one. They know the alternative is the Republicans, who don’t support any LGBT rights other than the right to die.
They know there is no alternative for a gay person but to vote Democrat. To vote Republican is not an option.
This is disgusting and cowardly in every sense.
@tdx3fan: This legislation puts the imprimatur on heterosexuality as the only “option”. Blatantly discriminatory, flying the Republican flag of open and proud homophobia. The GOP don’t even regard us as citizens.
It would have been better for it to fail on the present grounds, and then be passed when Democrats resume control of the lower chamber.
@Derek Williams: Thunderous Applause!!!
I always wonder why gays are surprised every time Democrats throw them under the bus. No reason for them to make the hard decision when they know you will keep supporting them with the tired thought that “they are better than Republicans” even though it was with a Democrat president that DOMA and DADT were passed. The immigration bill should die because it is a bad piece of legislation that rewards people who broke U.S. laws and borders.
@miagoodguy: They ARE better than Republicans on issues of gay rights though, so what should we do instead? Did you note that the Republicans said they would withdraw ALL support for the bill if it included support for same sex couples? I mean Jesus H. Christ these people are so totally and utterly against us there is NO way that can be interpreted any other way. What *VIABLE* alternative other than the Democrats do we have to the Republicans who want to stomp on us at *every* turn? Please tell me.
@DarkZephyr, it won’t be a moot point if DOMA is repealed, because most U.S. states don’t have gay marriage.
@miagoodguy: DADT was never “Democrat policy”. One of the first things Clinton tried to do on gaining office was sign an Executive Order ending the ban on gay and lesbian citizens serving their country in the Military.
However he was informed in no uncertain terms by Congress hostile to LGBT reform because of mailbagsful and telephone calls from the public against reform, that they would legislate to overturn his proposed Executive Order.
DADT was a compromise that removed the question about homosexual orientation from the application process to join up (“Don’t Ask”), on the condition that the candidate didn’t disclose his/her orientation to anyone (“Don’t Tell”). Few foresaw that this policy would result in 14,000 sackings and cose over $192 million to implement.
DOMA likewise was foisted on Clinton because at that stage, no US states had same sex marriage like they do now, and was designed to prevent a marriage in Hawaii being forced to be recognised in all other 49 states, thereby ipso facto creating same sex marriage for the entire country.
The President is not a King. An Executive Order can easily be overturned by an incoming presidency if there is no mandate from the Legislature for it.
@Derek Williams: TYPO (no edit feature on this antiquated site):
“cose” = “cost”
as usual, people making excuses for the unexcuseable.
if the supreme court approves gay marriage and all, immigration will have to be changed again.
“Senate Hangs Same-Sex Bi-National Couples Out To Dry”
How very dare they! Don’t they realize that same-sex bi-national couples should be dried on a flat surface only??
What a damn shame. And you know, I’ll bet this outcome might have been very different if only someone had had the balls to start yanking a few Republican Senators out of the closet, maybe one per day, until the GOP came around. As Barney Frank once said, they have the right to privacy but they don’t have the right to hypocrisy.
@viveutvivas: Excellent point and I stand corrected. Just more reason for me to be pissed about this.
All I can say is, Shame on you Democrats for giving in. Get a back bone and fight!!
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