Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the immigration bill?

And a happy Harvey Milk Day to you too, Senators.  As predicted, Democrats in the Senate yesterday joined their Republican colleagues in a little bit of legislative gay-bashing directed at the so-called “comprehensive” immigration reform bill, that’s looking less and less comprehensive by the hour.

Democratic Senators, including Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Al Franken (D-MN), dutifully lined up and spoke out about how much they cared about gay rights, but they just had to throw gays under the bus, and nix (yet again) an attempt to include our immigration concerns in the “comprehensive” bill, lest the Republicans get angry.

And, as we know all too well,  Democrats don’t like fighting for what they believe in if it risks making Republicans angry.

It was health care reform all over again

Chuck Schumer

Chuck Schumer

All sarcasm aside, there was a major sense of deja vu watching Democrats explain to us why they simply couldn’t stand up to Republican hostage-takers who threatened to kill the immigration bill if the gay-focused provision – granting immigration rights to foreign-national partners of gay-Americans – was included.  It sounded an awfully lot like the arguments we heard about the public option during health care reform.

As you recall, during health care reform (and the stimulus) we were constantly told that Republicans, and conservative Dems, were opposed to the public option, so there was no point in trying to push for it.  But the logical fallacy the Democrats faced was that we’d never know how strong the GOP truly opposed the public option, something that polled at 70% favorability, if we didn’t at least try to fight for it.  You’d be amazed at the magic a little fight can bring to the table.

And the contrary is also true.  If you don’t fight at all, if you admit right out of the gate that you’re afraid of the other guy’s threat, then the other guy is going to dig in, whether he’s bluffing or not, because you’ve pretty much already signalled that you will eventually cave to his demands.

And, like clockwork, Democrats did cave, mightily.

Democrats bailed on gays from the beginning

Dick Durbin

Dick Durbin

From the beginning, Democrats refused to add the gay provision to the legislation, telling us we could get it added with an amendment in committee.  Many of us didn’t believe that, and when the time came, Democrats caved and we didn’t get our amendment in committee.  And now we’re being told that we can get the amendment on the Senate floor.  Yeah, whatever.  The time to include gays in the comprehensive bill was when the bill was drafted, not by amendment.  We’re not getting in there now, ever.

Who’s to blame?  Lots of people.

Surely the GOP, for starters, and especially Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who, for whatever reason, seems desperately interested in convincing primary voters in his state that he’s really really really anti-gay, and I mean really. (A lot of us think the Lady Graham doth protest too much.)

But it’s not just the Republicans’ fault.  If you try to shoot me, and someone else has the chance to quite possibly save me, but they don’t because they either don’t terribly like me, or they’re simply big chickens, I’m going to end up kind of ticked at both the guy who killed me and the guy who could have saved my life were he a better person.

And certainly our Bad Samaritans include Senate Democrats (Schumer, Feinstein, Durbin and Franken) and the President, who according to AP signalled today that he wanted the gay amendment killed. No great profiles in courage there.

Progressive and gay groups didn’t help matters either

Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein

But it also includes progressive groups like CAP, and most of the gay groups (except Immigration Equality), all of whom were awfully quiet about UAFA, the gay immigration provision, being excluded from the bill until the top liberal gay bloggers weighed in (Pam Spaulding and Scott Wooledge come to mind, in addition to my posts, as did several others).  Up until then, our gay groups, along with CAP, were pleased as punch about the immigration bill because, they claimed, it was the gayest thing ever, even without UAFA.

Immigration reform is the GAYEST BILL EVER (or not)

Now, you’d think not including the gay community’s number one immigration priority in the immigration bill would make gay groups and our allies less than happy.  You’d be wrong.  You see, they explained, because some 3% of the public is supposedly gay (and I’ve never bought that study, but that’s the conventional wisdom nowadays), we can then assume that slightly less than 3% of the immigration bill’s beneficiaries are gay. And if there are 11 million beneficiaries of the immigration bill, then 267,000 of them must be gay – thus making this the GAYEST BILL EVER.

Of course, under that logic, the Bush tax cuts would also be the gayest bill ever as gays are probably 3% of US taxpayers too.  (And National Ice Cream Day would also be the gayest thing ever, since 3% of ice cream manufacturers are likely gay, and thus perhaps it should be renamed National Ice Cream Gay to celebrate our great victory.)

All kidding aside, claiming that any legislation that affects gay people is “gay” legislation effectively makes every piece of legislation “gay.”  Which is a bit ludicrous.

Al Franken

Al Franken

But the impact is far more nefarious than simply watering down the definition of gay.  If the immigration bill can explicitly kick out gay couples from its benefits, but the bill remains the gayest bill ever, then we’re faced with an awful paradox: We could lose the only thing we’re fighting for in a piece of legislation and still that legislation would be our biggest victory ever.  Which creates a situation in which we never have to win again, because our losses will always be our bigest victories simply because some of the people benefiting from the bill will be incidentally gay.

And that I fear was the entire point of coming up with this suspect 267,000 figure in the first place.  It permitted a select number of gay, immigration and progressive groups to paint immigration reform as “gay,” while knowing (and colluding in the fact?) that gays would never get their number one priority in the bill.  But by convincing the gay community that “267,000 gays” would benefit from the immigration bill regardless, they hoped to confuse the gay community into accepting defeat as victory, and using our well-known political power, and money, to help pass a bill that basically slapped us in the face.

And what happened during the Senate committee mark-up yesterday?  Durbin and Franken both used the 267,000 figure to justify dropping UAFA.  Political homophobia became homophilia, they were bashing us because they loved us.


Lindsey Graham

One other interesting point that I’d noted previously.  The group that came up with the magical 267,000 figure gets funding from the Haas Foundation.  And the Haas Foundation also funds most of the top gay and progressive groups, specifically on immigration advocacy – the Haas Foundation is a big supporter of the immigration bill.  And at the same time, for some reason, those gay and progressive groups didn’t seem to do nearly enough to push for UAFA’s inclusion in this legislation (while other Democrats were publicly worrying about whether the gays would kill immigration reform).  And finally, while not doing enough to push UAFA, those same groups kept talking about how we shouldn’t worry, because it’s still the gayest bill ever.  I just find all of that an interesting coincidence.

It’s not about idealism, it’s about not even trying

In the end, this isn’t about idealism.  And it isn’t about “naively” making the best the enemy of the good. It’s about not even trying.

No one is asking Democrats to kill the immigration bill if we can’t get gays included.  We are asking Democrats, and immigration groups, and gay advocacy groups, and CAP to fight like hell for our inclusion and only to cave at the last minute if that’s what’s needed to pass the bill (and not to, by the way, mention any of this publicly).  Instead, we got a lot of press releases, which are nice but useless, and a lot of people speaking publicly about how, gosh, maybe we should boot the gays in order to save the bill, apparently because gays are still sadly expendable in Democratic politics in 2013.

Oh, and we also didn’t get any of that famed angry gay advocacy that we saw with the repeal of DADT.  I also found that interesting.

That is not a recipe for calling the Republicans’ bluff.

The final irony for gay binational couples (where one person is American and the other is a foreign national) is that those couples are basically being punished for obeying the law.  Had gay couples broken the law, and stayed in the US illegally, they’d be covered by the immigration bill.  But because they didn’t break the law, they just got thrown out of the bill that was supposed to help them in the first place.

Gayest bill ever, my ass.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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279 Responses to “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the immigration bill?”

  1. dg says:

    Government needs to get out of people’s personal lives period. It is really freakin’ simple. Why do you think they love Lindsey Graham? I would LOVE to see what secrets the NSA has hanging over his head. All these clowns are perfect. Better vote AIPAC or I’ll show the world your boy lover….better shoot down this bill on gay rights or I’ll show the world your other personal gay history.

    It is crazy. I could give a rip what someone’s orientation is. But THEY give a rip what their voters might think….therefore they become perfect puppets for TPTB. This is why the NSA spying issue is such an enormous deal….it is like J Edgar Hoover on steroids. wake up folks.

  2. Lavi Soloway says:

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear; my point is that UAFA which I helped draft in 1999, and that we have fought to pass into law for the past 13 years by building broad Democratic support in the House and Senate, was strategically designed by its specific construction to expire upon the repeal of DOMA (or if SCOTUS struck down Sec 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional). I am referring to a prospective scenario in which UAFA exists as part of the United States Code and DOMA has been struck down. (Obviously, DOMA has not been struck down either, so I’m not sure what the point of this thread is if we cannot discuss anything that is at this moment mooted by present circumstances. We would not be advancing any understanding here if we only talked about those legal frameworks that currently exist and, therefore, are not moot.) The point is that journalists mainly, but some well-meaning activists, have misunderstood or misrepresented UAFA as though it is a provision that offers an avenue to sponsor “partners” for those couples who aren’t married, and that this happens typically by casual, good faith indifference to the language employed to describe the “partner” provision. Were it that simple. UAFA only creates a “partner” provision in a world in which DOMA exists, once DOMA does not exist, the “partner” provision, indeed its very definition, renders UAFA inoperative, or perhaps more accurately, UAFA sunsets. I’m trying to respond and to be helpful based on my 20 years of experience in this work: if UAFA were passed into law today, would expire the moment SCOTUS ruled Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional, or the moment Congress repealed DOMA.

  3. BeccaM says:

    There is no UAFA enacted or signed into law, so your point is moot.

  4. Lavi Soloway says:

    A state statute refusing to recognize same-sex marriage would not result in this scenario. Perhaps more importantly, UAFA cannot survive DOMA. Section 2 Part D of UAFA specifically causes it to self-expire if DOMA Section 3 is struck down by the Supreme Court or repealed by Congress. If DOMA is struck down, marriages would be valid based on the law in the location of solemnization (where the marriage was “performed” or “entered into”) not the state of residence of the couple.

  5. Lavi Soloway says:

    It is not only the way Democrats caved on Tuesday to the untested myth that the bill would have been torpedoed by Republicans over this issue that should concern us; it is also the lack of pro-LGBT advocacy by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee from the time of the bill’s introduction in January. They did not go to the media and talk about our families. Instead, they allowed the GOP to scapegoat us as a community, slandering us by implying that we would kill CIR just to advance our agenda of “gay marriage.” Democrats were AWOL on this issue for four months while the GOP filled the airwaves and headlines with talk of the gay “poison pill” and that is unacceptable. If the amendments were going be rejected or excluded from the bill, at least go down fighting and standing up for us. Hold the GOP accountable for their hate and discrimination. Why not ask the GOP what version of UAFA they would accept? Why not ask them how they propose to keep our families together? Negotiation is not capitulation in my dictionary. There was no attempt to compromise, only surrender to GOP threats and intimidation. Our community has worked on this for 20 years. UAFA has been pending before Congress for 13 years. The work of thousands of binational couples, activists and various gay and non-gay organizations over two decades was undone by our allies in a comparative instant. Of course we support CIR, and of course there are benefits to all future non-immigrants and immigrants in CIR both gay and straight, but that’s hardly the point. I hope our community will rally and demand that Democrats advance the protection and security of our families when the bill reaches the Senate floor. While it is true that the amendments offered by Senator Leahy will be unnecessary if the Supreme Court strikes down Section 3 of DOMA, we won’t know the Supreme Court’s ruling until the end of June and in the meantime we must fight for inclusion in the bill in case DOMA is not struck down.

  6. Lavi Soloway says:

    This is not true. A statute refusing to recognize WOULD NOT accomplish this. This is a common and sadly self-perpetuating misunderstanding about how the Immigration and Nationality Act defines a valid marriage.

  7. Butch1 says:

    He and his administration have certainly thrown many road blocks out in front of our progress whilst all the while claiming they were in our corner. He’s a pathological liar and can look right into the cameras and tell the American seniors he will not touch their Social Security and do everything in his power to gut it if he can. He was for Universal Healthcare while he was assuring the insurance industry not to worry about it ever being in his Affordable Healthcare Bill either. Your guess is as good as the next. Only a witness coming forth with the credible evidence will ever be proof.

  8. Sweetie says:

    Boxer’s FUD about filesharing technologies lost her my support. It was typical “think of the children” fearmongering authoritarian nonsense.

  9. Sweetie says:

    “From Selma to Stonewall” (at the Waldorf Astoria) was followed by the two pro-DOMA briefs, the two pro-DADT briefs, the firing of troops, and the Golinsky stonewalling. What do you think?

  10. Sweetie says:

    The plutocracy party will never allow competition.

  11. Sweetie says:

    A small point.

  12. Whitewitch says:

    Do you really believe Al Franken is a homophobe John. I am deeply disappointed with Franken’s response and expect more from him and now will have to stop contributing to his campaign…darn!

  13. There’s a surprise, Barney “Obama using the Bush pro-DOMA brief is no big deal” Frank disagrees. Someone must be lonely not getting all the attention any more.

  14. Julien Pierre says:

    Becca, all I am saying is that the tech employers certainly would not take a position against gays in the immigration bill. I doubt they were asked. But I’m sure they would be quite happy with a bill that had both the H1-B increase and allowed same-sex couples to sponsor their partners for immigration.

  15. BeccaM says:

    I don’t think they collectively care all that much about gay immigration rights, as long as they can hire cheap H1-B workers. Orrin Hatch certainly made his priorities obvious, and given the tech industries in and around Salt Lake City, I’m actually not terribly surprised that this was his chief demand.

  16. Julien Pierre says:

    Most high tech companies are also fairly supportive of gay rights. It doesn’t add up that gay rights had to be compromised to help these companies. They should be raising a stink about this too.

  17. karmanot says:

    Right with ya. I’m still behind Boxer though—for now.

  18. karmanot says:


  19. Mark_in_MN says:

    Thanks, Emjayay.

  20. Mark_in_MN says:

    FFL posted a link to an article which pointed out that the policy exception had usually applied only to where there was criminalization not merely non-recognition. The article noted that how constitutional amendment without criminality (and since Lawrence there is none) involved might be treated, from not effecting recognition of marriages to seeing it as being blocked for immigration purposes. But, basically, while there is a so-called public policy issue, it has historically been very limited.

  21. Mark_in_MN says:

    Stop imparting feelings and positions I’ve not taken. I want to see no deportations and I would be far from proud to see that happen. And having the UAFA on the books, perfect or not, is hardly an indignity. It would be good. But there is a better solution, marriage equality and federal recognition of those marriages regardless of where the couple lives (which is entirely possible).

  22. Right on! As a man who left his country to stay with his husband – Brasil welcomed us with our 2008 California Marriage Certificate btw – Mrs Feinstein is such a disappointment… just leave people, its good out here.

  23. tiponeill says:

    yea – the Dems just screwed u

  24. Juan Carlos says:

    You know who else votes? U.S. citizen family members of undocumented immigrants, some of us are LGBT FYI

  25. Juan Carlos says:

    Btw among those millions of people who are “currently breaking the law” are also LGBT people, and some of them are married to “law-abiding” gay and lesbian American citizens.

  26. dcinsider says:

    Oh we will definitely let them do this to us over and over. That is the entire purpose of HRC. We are the battered spouse who returns to our husband because he promises he won’t do it again.

    I guess the only difference is that the battered spouse could divorce and marry another guy, but we have the choice of the batterer (Dems), or his brother the murderer (Repubs). if only their were other guys on the dating website, we might be able to get out of this unhealthy relationship.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    Barney Frank is a Quisling.

  28. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats and others who don’t support equality for the LGBT communities are homophobes. Period. Full Stop.

    Equality is a such a simple,easy to understand demand and those who oppose it are bigots. Bigots are people who commit bigoted acts, like denying our right to equal treatment. There is nothing too difficult about understanding that concept.

    I want to hear you answer karmanot’s question “So, political calculations that exclude the GLTBQ communities are just fine with you?”

  29. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Ain’t that the damn truth!

  30. emjayay says:

    The “small, empty shells” part came close to stooping to their level. Careful….I too am a bit taken aback and disappointed at times at the level of some of the commenting here, regardless of what side of an issue I may be on. Not the first time I’m afraid.

  31. BeccaM says:

    Actually, looks like I was more right than I knew. Y’see, Senator Orrin Hatch had is own “must have” demand for the immigration bill, and Schumer saw no problem at all in giving it to him. Here’s the low-down on the amendment Hatch demanded — and got:

    Schumer, representing the bipartisan group that authored the bill, also negotiated a compromise Tuesday with Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) to relax some restrictions on high-tech companies that seek to hire foreign engineers and computer programmers.

    The legislation already would raise the annual limit of high-tech visas, known as H-1B, from 65,000 to as many as 180,000, but Hatch had lobbied to eliminate other restrictions on U.S. companies seeking to hire engineers and
    programmers from abroad.

    The compromise amendment lifts the requirement that companies first offer tech jobs to Americans for all firms except those that depend on foreigners for more than 15 percent of their workforce and relaxes the formula for determining the annual number of foreign high-tech workers.

    The high-tech amendments are perhaps the most substantial changes to the immigration bill over five days of hearings on dozens of proposed changes.

    Hatch warned he could still drop his support in the full Senate if other concerns aren’t met. “I’ve got to get those or we’ll never pass this bill,” he said.


    Amazing, huh?

  32. emjayay says:

    Name calling, always an effective method of arguementation. In the second grade.

  33. emjayay says:

    Mark, there are of course two sides to this, or two strategies. And I appreciate your reasoned thoughtful arguement even when others tell you what you said and accuse you of whatever. Of course, as we all know Norwegian Bachelor Farmers would never get all hyperbolic or anything.

  34. Butch1 says:

    I’m inclined to think not also.

  35. emjayay says:

    I’m really pissed and I’m not a crocodile. Not as pissed as I was at Clinton folding and allowing DADT, but that’s gone. And of course the military totally went in the toilet…..oh wait.

    A comment on your side stolen from WaPo:
    Until DOMA is overturned, it is moot to discuss gay marriage as a basis of immigration. To be very clear, there is NO WAY, the Republicans were going to let any immigration reform pass with the Leahy Amendment attached. Their threats at times are idle but the Republicans are poised for an epic battle on this front and it would have killed any immigration reform. Try to remember that immigration reform is not only about reform for those illegally entered or illegally present due to overstay. It is not an us and them argument. I work in an immigration law office. We have met with many gay and lesbian foreign nationals who have either entered illegally or vastly overstayed a visa. Proposed Senate immigration reform will allow them to achieve legal presence and then permanent residency and citizenship. There are many LGBT that will be assisted by reform. However, until DOMA goes the way of the DoDo, there will be no recognition of gay marriage at the federal level including within the immigration system. It is better to let each battle move forward in its own course for now and then make the adjustments after DOMA is dead and buried.
    A whole f-ing lot depends on the Supreme Court. Uh-oh…….well here’s hoping.

  36. emjayay says:

    She is what she is, a conservative super rich lady with some liberal tendencies. I did see her at a gay softball league game back in the day. She was wearing a baseball cap with DF on the front.

  37. FunMe says:

    Amen brother!

  38. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Wrong. That’s only true of non-controversial marriages. The home state has final say.

  39. Skeptical Cicada says:

    It’s irrelevant if the couple’s home state has a clearly articulated policy against recognizing out-of-state gay marriages, which virtually all the states that ban gay marriage have. The couples would have to move to the marriage equality and establish a bona fide domicile there–i.e., change job, home, drivers license, voting, and have no evidence of an intention to return to the first state.

  40. Skeptical Cicada says:

    A state statute that expressly refuses to recognize out-of-state gay marriages would also be enough–so that’s basically every state that bans gay marriage.

    Excellent work finding that article. It’s the leading one that I found too.

  41. Skeptical Cicada says:

    The article you cited above is an excellent source, although I find that author too optimistic in his reading of the cases.
    It’s getting murkier because sellout gays deliberately painted a falsely rosy and simplistic picture to try to convince gays to toss bi-national couples overboard in this bill.

  42. Skeptical Cicada says:

    No, fuck you, gay-hater.

  43. Skeptical Cicada says:

    We’ll sign you up to personally escort the first deported gay spouse to his airplane. You can explain to him how proud you are to have put a bullet in his marriage and how it’s better for him to be deported than for you to have to suffer the appalling personal indignity of having the imperfect UAFA on the law books.

  44. Skeptical Cicada says:

    That patronizing little breeder was disgusting. Not a shred of analysis of the politics, just his grand heterosexual endorsement of screwing the gays.

  45. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I.e. Almost always.

  46. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I don’t read his comments the way you do. I see a pathetic slap on the wrist for the Democrats while falling all over himself to endorse the anti-gay bill. Party hack trying to pretend to be speaking authentically gay. What did he do to stop Schumer et al.? Nothing. What will he do to punish them? Nothing. They’ll put some fake floor vote on the amendment in their congressional scorecard and give all these backstabbers full credit.

  47. JayRandal says:

    Actually FFL below is correct: He supposedly went to bathhouses in Andersonville area of Chicago. I have higher standards as Gay guy
    so I only go to classy Gay clubs in wherever state I reside in. Never
    been to a bathhouse anywhere NOT even in San Francisco when I lived in CA.

  48. JayRandal says:

    I believe Feinstein took advantage of mayor of SF being shot dead along with Harvey Milk. Being a former Californian myself (born and raised in CA) I have never trusted her. Giving her a free pass on Gay issues allows her to screw us over. Pelosi should
    be voted out by San Franciscans too.

  49. FunMe says:


  50. FunMe says:

    Since last year’s Presidential election, I pretty much just ignore the typical Democrat of line “the GOP is so bad” … because I know the Democrats can be just as bad. Plus when I answer the call from the DNC or others like them, I simply tell them off.

  51. FunMe says:

    Thank goodness I didn’t fall for that line this time. So proud that last time I voted I did NOT vote for anyone just because they are Democrat. Like my congressman … I think I voted for Micky Mouse instead of him. :-)

  52. JayRandal says:

    Yes FFL I am being diplomatically nice saying Obama went to Gay clubs since
    bathhouses are far more seedy places for him going there. I am a Gay club guy,
    but I never claim to be straight nor marrying a beard female for cover up being Gay.

  53. JayRandal says:

    I am NOT a Tea bagger nut, NOR somebody who thinks Obama was born in Kenya, but

    some Gays in Chicago have claimed Obama frequented Gay clubs. Nobody talks about
    it because he is supposed to be a Democrat President NOT a DINO selling out Gays.

  54. karmanot says:

    Watched MSNBC’s Chris Hayes come out in favor of anti-gay Immigration Amendment.

  55. BeccaM says:

    I seriously doubt it.

  56. Butch1 says:

    It’s true that removal of these Blue-Dogs would alleviate a lot of the problems of the democratic party but I think it goes deeper than just them. It’s systemic right to their leadership and until they are gotten rid of nothing is going to change.

  57. FLL says:

    If giving up equal rights is the price, the stupid cheese balls aren’t worth it. Next Easter, same-sex couples should just take the snack food. Pocket all of the Easter eggs and leave with them.

  58. BeccaM says:

    Besides, if we hunger-strike, they’ll just ship us off to Gitmo to be force-fed.

  59. BeccaM says:

    This is why I’ve been saying that even if Section 3 of DOMA is ruled unconstitutional, this does not automatically mean there’s no need for UAFA. At minimum, even with a favorable ruling (which is by no means guaranteed), we’re looking at many more years of litigation as each thread of the 1100+ federal rights tapestry is unraveled in the courts.

    I could easily see something like this happening: “Sorry, Texas resident, but your marriage to that Brit isn’t recognized in your home state, so no green card for your spouse. Establish residency in another state that does recognize your marriage, live there a year, and then you’re welcome to re-apply.”

  60. FLL says:

    Dead on target. I have no fear that my local Publix supermarket will run out of aluminum foil because your theory is not tin-foil in the least, but rather based on our common, well-documented experience of corporate greed. I’m sure the big corporations are lusting after this immigration “reform” bill. All the more reason to kill it until it provides some reasonable protection for same-sex couples.

  61. FLL says:

    A bit downthread, I wondered if there was some documentation explaining how the federal government determines whether a marriage is valid for immigration purposes. I am reading this paper published in the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law. The link is here.

  62. BeccaM says:

    I have a theory that may not be completely tin-foil–

    The economy is beginning to show some signs of revival. Corporations have already outsourced about as much as they can, but they need more workers and want them to be H-1Bs rather than citizens. This bill triples the number of H1-B visas.

    Secondly, many of the more regressive Red states have passed draconian anti-immigration laws of their own, and this has made Big Agriculture very unhappy. Crops rotting in the fields last year and all that. So this bill would override those measures by turning the undocumented into documented. They need those field workers in the legal-status pipeline ASAP.

  63. karmanot says:

    Good God I hope not.

  64. karmanot says:

    Miss a chance to compare Hermes ties—-I can’t see that happening.

  65. Mark_in_MN says:

    Thanks, Becca. That’s not an unreasonable assessment. I generally do support the measure because I think it gets us, on the whole, to someplace better than where we are now. The “fines” and length of the waiting period are also things that could be better. I’m not exactly jazzed about the gobs of money to be spent on tightening boarder controls. And I would indeed like to see a solution for binational gay and lesbian couples (although I think marriage equality is a better and more permenant route, actually). But I think our current system isn’t working and is particularly failing undocumented immigrants. This may not serve them well, but it serves them better than the status quo.

    In my ideal, there would’t be a need for visas, permanent residency status, paths to citizenship, or even an Immigration and Naturalization Service etc. There wouldn’t be any such thing as illegal immigration by definition. But that ideal world is a very, very far way from our political reality.

  66. FLL says:

    Which news source do you see that in. I have a link to a Washington Post article in which Griffin denounces both the Democrats and the Republicans on the Senate committee.

  67. FLL says:

    Why the burning rush to pass an unfair bill? The last time an immigration reform bill was passed was 1986. Certainly if it’s waited 27 years, it could wait another year or two if that’s what it takes to pass a fair bill. The people who are trying to rush this legislation through—even before the Supreme Court rules in a few weeks—seem to have very suspect motives.

  68. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Sad but completely unsurprising to see Chad Griffin morph into Joe Solmonese. As I’ve said before, the problem with HRC is its Democratic-sycophant board of directors.

  69. nicho says:


  70. Skeptical Cicada says:


  71. Skeptical Cicada says:

    True. They aren’t as plagued with fucking sellouts as the gay community is.

  72. BeccaM says:

    And as I indicated below: Give millions of people who are currently breaking the law and who are not U.S. citizens a huge benefit while screwing over a whole different group of people, namely law-abiding gay and lesbian American citizens who happen to be married to a non-citizen spouse.

  73. nicho says:

    Well, he might, but the Jewish community wouldn’t — and they wouldn’t let him get away with it. They would not sit back and see their rights trampled.

  74. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Where were the immigration groups? Why, they were executing a bait and switch of exploiting the gay community to build support for immigration reform and then looked the other way as gays were tossed overboard. Fuck them and their anti-gay bill.

  75. nicho says:

    Well, let the bill die. Then, if the “millions of people” who will be deprived see they got screwed, they may join us in making enough of a stink to get a decent bill passed. What Barney is advocating is pure divide and conquer. Give “millions of people” a benefit while screwing over a whole different group of people. That is just cynicism in action — but then Barney is a seasoned politician, so he’s good at cynicism.

  76. nicho says:

    It’s amazing what people will do in exchange for being invited to a cocktail party or two.

  77. BeccaM says:

    I know you and I are in complete agreement on the need for both stick and carrot. The problem is those who claim to speak and advocate for our cause — HRC and so on — are all carrot.

    I still believe the status quo won’t change on this or any other progressive issue until the Blue Dogs start facing serious primary challengers.

  78. nicho says:

    Well, I suppose one way we could fight back is for the LGBT activists and bloggers to go on a “hunger strike” of sorts and refuse to trot on over to the White House for Cosmos and cheese balls at the holiday party. That would show the Dems.

  79. nicho says:

    I’d like to see some documentation of that that didn’t come from Teabaggers or the usual suspects. So, you’re suggesting he’s a Muslim from Kenya whose both a Community and a Nazi and is also on the downlow.

  80. FLL says:

    “…if the couple’s HOME state doesn’t have a strongly articulated policy
    against recognizing the marriages…”

    Yet another factor complicating matters. Do you have a link for this? If this is information is correct, then a Supreme Court opinion on Section 3 of DOMA wouldn’t shield same-sex couples from deportation in non-equality states unless the Court opinion specifically overrode the exception about a “strongly worded policy” (e.g., the many state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marrige). I’m glad the Supreme Court will rule within a month because the situation is getting murkier and murkier.

  81. Butch1 says:

    Exactly! They obviously do NOT need us and when they double-cross us and go so far as to stab us in the back it is time to just walk away from them. I’ve been saying it for a long time; we need to go third party and support candidates who will back us. We have the power and the money to start building another liberal party to equal this weak democratic party. It is spineless and lies to the people. I think we can pull people away from them with the right PR. They have done enough damage and lying that all we would have to do is just point it out. We need new blood and we do not need those liars doing business with the republicans anymore. We are the ones getting screwed.

  82. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Because that would amount to Democrats actually fighting for gay rights. They don’t have to fight for gay rights when they have an army of gay Democratic hacks who are willing to give them permission to treat us with contempt and then run interference for them and attack any self-respecting gay person who points out that the big gay Democratic emperor has no clothes.

  83. JD234 says:

    It’s not like a bill vanishes into the ether when it’s voted down. Why not pass the bill out of committee with the same-sex provisions, let the immigration-vulnerable Republicans (like Rubio) vote it down, and *then*, once you have that vote to hang around their necks, bring it up again without the same-sex provisions if you absolutely have to? This idea that you have to quit as early as possible if you won’t succeed is nonsense, even from a hard-nosed, realpolitik point of view. There are much better ways to advance the agenda even within the (probably mistaken) assumption that the ultimate fate is sealed.

  84. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You’re welcome. It is critical to my position in opposing the bill as anti-gay. It is also something that the political hacks running interference for backstabbing Democrats don’t want to admit. They prefer to act like the bill is just failing to move the ball forward when, in fact, it is a massive assault on these couples’ struggle to stay together.

  85. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You obviously don’t see the VAWA parallel because you’re drunk on Democratic political homophobia. It’s been repeatedly discussed on this blog in recent weeks. Go educate yourself if you can’t figure it out.

    See my comment above about not getting everything we want. I oppose this billo not because it merely leaves out gay bi-national couples, but because it constitutes an assault on them. It’s strict enforcement will make life even more untenable for them. You act as if it’s just neutral toward them. It isn’t. It’s an anti-gay bill without protecting them from the new enforcement system.

    You missed by sarcasm in the “single-issue voter” slur. It is never deployed when the “single issue” is a candidate’s racist or anti-Semitic positions. Refusing to support a candidate for those things is not derided as being a “single issue voters.” But when gays refuse to debase ourselves and endorse our own subordination, we’re immediately bullied by sellouts like you as “selfish,” single-issue voters.” No, dear, I’m not a single-issue voter. I have core principles that I won’t compromise. Gay equality is one of them. I certainly won’t be bullied by a sellout into debasing myself for a party rife with political homophobia.

    I’ve never met a gay sellout who admits to being a gay sellout. You’re no different.

  86. BeccaM says:

    Thank you again for bringing up that part, the increased and much more severe enforcement in the bill. I keep forgetting how, with the computerized tracking and much harsher penalties, that the likelihood of even an inadvertent violation — like overstaying a visa due to a missed or canceled flight — can and likely will result in permanent deportation.

    Honestly, if I was married to a foreign national, we’d probably already be living somewhere other than in America. Some country where breaking up a committed and legally-united family is judged controversial and unacceptable, as opposed to the U.S. where “divorce or exile” deemed to be perfectly acceptable.

  87. Butch1 says:

    I knew Obama was a “carnival barker” especially during campaign season but I never thought of Michele as being the “bearded lady.” Is there any truth to this or more unsubstantiated rumors?

  88. Butch1 says:

    Will this be the last time or will we continue to let them do it time after time? It’s up to us.

  89. Butch1 says:

    It’s past time we all forget this party and leave them in the dust where they belong. It’s obvious how they all feel and think about us. Why we continue to put up with this is beyond me. We need to put our money and our power behind people who actually believe in us and support them. They need to be elected and be in power. These democrats have had their chance.

  90. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I agree with incrementalism. As I have repeatedly said before, I would have no problem if the issue were merely leaving out UAFA. I strongly supported the Dream Act, for example.

    This bill, however, does not merely leave out gay bi-national couples. Rather, it tosses them into a harsh new enforcement regime without any protection. This bill will not merely hold things harmless for them. It will make their situation even more untenable than it already is. It is a major step BACKWARDS for them. It is an anti-gay bill as to them.
    And because I oppose anti-gay bills that take steps backwards, I oppose this anti-gay bill.

  91. BeccaM says:

    I’ll be honest and admit I personally could not give a damn about the current incarnation of immigration ‘reform.’ I’ve read through the summaries and proposals and most of what I’m seeing are concessions to Big Ag (who want legal guest workers) and corporations who want to see H1-B visas tripled in number.

    Dems want to court Latino voters, while the Republicans are trying to walk the fine line between reducing their traditional xenophobic reputation among the Latinos, while at the same time making it clear to their Red-Meat base through terms like “fines” and decade-long waiting periods that the regressive-conservative ideals haven’t been forgotten.

  92. leliorisen says:

    There are times when Barney Frank is better off not saying anything.

  93. Butch1 says:

    They “lie” like a rug during election time. This past election time was by far, the worst I have ever seen them. If they all had been the party of Pinocchio, we would be able to recognize them all a half a mile away by their noses.

  94. Mark_in_MN says:

    No selling out, just not burning bridges because we don’t get everything we want right away and recognizing that getting somewhere in politics sometimes does mean knowing when to push and when not to. And, yes, I’m not a single issue voter. I think being a single issue voter is ethically and politically questionable. There are many things I also care about. I don’t see why I should not seek to get other issues taken care of or force other groups to remain discriminated against or downtrodden because I’m not getting everything I’d love to see for myself and the whole LGBT community.

    And, no, I didn’t miss passage of the inclusive Violence Against Women Act. I’m not sure what parallel you’re trying to draw with that reference.

  95. Butch1 says:

    Amen, to that.

  96. BeccaM says:

    Well, then I’ll be a purist liberal. God knows we need at least a few on our side, because tolerating bigotry and treating anti-gay animus as if it’s merely another valid point of view hasn’t helped our cause.

    Obviously UAFA, just like ENDA, is one such aborted attempt. I’m glad you agree with me though that this is in no way a victory, and I will happily keep pointing out that it is an abject failure on the part of our self-described Democratic allies, and not the gay rights victory they’ve been trying to claim.

  97. karmanot says:


  98. karmanot says:

    “Fuck you.” Please don’t ,at least without a paper bag over your head.

  99. Butch1 says:

    Not much I can add to that. ;-)

  100. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I realize that you don’t actually give a damn what the law actually turns out to be because all this is just you vomiting a political hack talking point in running interference for the betrayals by political homophobes, but you’re wrong on the law.

    Federal immigration law only recognizes evasive marriages if the couple’s HOME state doesn’t have a strongly articulated policy against recognizing the marriages, as most states DO have when it comes to gay marriage. If Justice Kennedy follows through and accepts a states’ rights argument in striking down DOMA, that deference to the home state will likely become constitutionally mandatory.

    So once you’ve exploited Lavi Soloway’s premature and incomplete analysis to dissemble about this point, gay bi-national couples are going to have to contend with what the law really is, not what you have disingenuously claimed it to be for political purposes.

    Shame on you.

  101. karmanot says:


  102. BrandySpears says:

    Fuck you. I do not hate gays or lesbians – whether they might be transgender of not – unlike you, dear.

  103. karmanot says:

    “But do we really want to play the Republican hostage taking game ourselves?” Yes.

  104. karmanot says:


  105. karmanot says:

    “The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his,” And, count the blood money profits while doing it.

  106. Skeptical Cicada says:

    BeccaM is exactly right.

  107. karmanot says:

    ++++++ like

  108. Skeptical Cicada says:

    No, she’s been unrelentingly obnoxious in spewing her transgender hatred of gay men.

  109. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Ah, of course, this is all about your transgender hatred of gay men. As usual.

  110. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You’re apparently too stupid to know that Dianne Feinstein has ALWAYS been a thorn in the side of gay San Franciscans, including blocking civil rights bills as a Supervisor and vetoing them as mayor.

  111. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You apparently missed passage of the gay-inclusive Violence Against Women Act. You’re infected with your own political homophobia.

    Shorter version of your second paragraph: You selfish gays are single-issue voters who won’t ever take a bullet for anyone else. To which I say, fuck you.

    Good luck continuing to compliantly lie down under the bus and enable more betrayals. Sorry, but this faggot won’t be lying under any bus with you and your sellout friends.

  112. Mark_in_MN says:

    I think it’s for much the same reason that conservative rhetoric so often gets the upper hand in public discourse. Conservatives demand purity. They are authoritarian and tow the line. Something unacceptable in part make the whole thing the end of the world. And they like to play with their little toys and attempts at poison pills. Progressives and democrats (yes, they aren’t the same thing), tend to be more moderate and tolerant (sometimes to a fault). In general, they aren’t authoritarian and won’t insist that everyone follow unwaveringly. They are much more willing to accept that laws and political deals won’t be perfect or pure, that there will be provisions that are not acceptable in themselves but allow for the movement toward goals. I’d call this realism. I also think it can be good sometimes (although not always) to not let the poison pills become poisonous, to let them go by to get other things that are wanted rather than allowing them to do what they are really designed to do, scuttle the whole thing.

    As frustrating as it can be, law and politics is almost always incremental, with broad and major changes taking place rarely and after many years of attempts and aborted attempts.

    And I’ll agree wholeheartedly that calling this bill an advancement for gay rights without UAFA in it is patently ridiclous.

  113. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Spare us that first paragraph of crocodile tears and faux outrage. You only went through those motions because you think it then allows you to bark partisan marching orders at us in the rest of your comment. I will be doing everything I can to kill this bill. I also have no intention of lifting a finger to help preserve this Democratic Senate majority next year, as it obviously makes no difference whether Lindsey Graham is actually in the majority or allowed to run the Senate from the minority. I suggest the DSCC start shaking down illegal immigrants for campaign money. Gays are obviously no part of the Democratic coalition, and I intend for my donations–or, more correctly, my non-donations–to reflect that reality.

    Good luck getting Chuck Schumer to repeal DOMA if the Court upholds it. He’s never done a fucking thing for gay rights and was about the second-to-last NY Dem to stop opposing marriage equality.

  114. karmanot says:

    Neener, neener, neener

  115. karmanot says:

    Trout fishing sublime…..

  116. karmanot says:

    Thanks for the screaming clarification . Fact: “these political calculations ARE “; BIGOTRY. BTW, I don’t wear knickers. The only thing twisted here is your bigot appeasing rationalizing.

  117. Mark_in_MN says:

    So let’s entertain a scenario in which the Democrats on the committee, and in the Senate generally, dug in and fought tooth and nail for this, and really showed some backbone and no sign of backing down. Do you really think that the real homophobes that populate the Republican side of the aisle, would have rolled over in shock and let it go through? Or even that they let it go forward with a fair fight? If you think either are likely, I’d have to ask where you’ve been the last few years. There were things that the Democrats should have fought harder and probably could have won. But I just can’t see getting enough defectors from the Republicans to allow a immigration bill with the UAFA provisions getting to the floor of the Senate, much less being able to pass both houses. You might be able to do that without the provisions for gay and lesbian binational couples, but even that has a huge battle ahead. If any immigration bill passes, it will be amazing. Including UAFA, although I’d be very happy to see it there, is going to be its own lightning rod for opposition.

    I guess if all one cares about is passage of the UAFA and any other reforms of immigration law be damed, taking our own hostages might be deemed worthwhile. But do we really want to play the Republican hostage taking came ourselves? Or might immigration reform be something worthwhile and valuable itself even part from the much needed and desired UAFA provisions? If there is only one issue that matters, the perspective that this is nothing other than homophobia might make sense. But if many things matter, including immigration reform, I’m not sure this can be regarded as anything more than making political choices about how and in what way to reach a desired (and worthy) goal: immigration reform.

  118. BeccaM says:

    Translation: “You gays and lesbians just aren’t important enough for us to care about. Your place in line as law-abiding American citizens merely seeking equal rights under the law is well behind undocumented immigrants who are in the country illegally. Besides, who else are you gonna vote for? Now learn your place and get back under the bus until the mid-terms, when we fully expect you to open your wallets and have your votes in exchange for more empty promises.”

  119. karmanot says:

    We do. Particularly those of us who were around when DiFi began her career as a Supervisor dissing the GLTBQ community and then launched a national career on the corpses of Mosconi and Milk.

  120. karmanot says:


  121. Skeptical Cicada says:

    She has ALWAYS been terrible on gay rights.

  122. Skeptical Cicada says:

    We (used to) donate massive amounts of money to Democratic Senate candidates too.

  123. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Actually, he would if the Democratic Party endorsed it because he has never been anything but a party hack.

  124. nicho says:

    Wow, you must have been valedictorian at asshole school. Finding a corpse does not confer any immunity from being called a homophobe. Now, if she had jumped in front of Harvey and took a bullet for him, we could say she wasn’t a homophobe — and we’d all be better off.

  125. nicho says:

    Yeah, we’ve heard that crap before. Hey, Barney, how about a bill that includes everyone but Jews? Would you be OK with that?

  126. Nicoannie says:

    Ad-hominem is now a “standby Libertarian flag of self pity”?? WTF does that even mean? And pointy heads? Are you folks still in middle school? Jeebus on a cracker I had no idea the commenters on this site would be such small, empty shells that would resort to using standard issue right-wing tactics — fling poo, “You don’t have a point” (though I just made one…wtf?), name calling, etc. You have very much more in common with those homophobes you purport to stand against than you think. Yikes.

  127. BrandySpears says:

    Barney Frank: “The choice we have is not between an Immigration Bill which helps
    same-sex couples and one that doesn’t,” Congressman Frank said in a
    statement, “but a choice between an Immigration Bill that does not
    include same-sex couples or no bill at all. Opting for no bill at
    all–which would have been the result if Sen. Leahy offered his
    amendment–would not help LGBT couples, but it would deprive millions of
    people of needed help.”

  128. BeccaM says:

    Sorry, but I don’t much appreciate her rather unrelentingly patronizing tone with everybody who disagrees with her. And I suspect some of your other regulars feel similarly.

  129. cole3244 says:

    you can always depend on the dems to be around at election time, after that mia on all issues related to the 99%.

  130. Brandy has been very supportive, VERY supportive, on pretty much everything, so cut her some slack :)

  131. Zorba says:

    Well, imagine that! I found this quote:

    Not that it’s supposed to be a particularly sad national holiday or anything. But it’s just that, in all my years of being a black, never has anybody pulled me aside to wish me, personally, a “Happy Martin Luther King Day.” It’s just not something you’re supposed to say, is it? Because it’s the same thing as pulling me aside to be like, “Whew, thank goodness you people finally got the right to vote!” Or maybe, “Hey, that whole segregation thing was kind of balls, huh? Good thing we nipped that in the bud!”


    As I said, I have never heard anyone say this. Did I say that it couldn’t be found on Google? Why no, no I didn’t.
    Your reading comprehension skills are lacking.

  132. Again my problem here isn’t reading the tea leaves and deciding we’ve lost, it’s deciding at the beginning of the battle that it wasn’t even worth trying, and then chucking us in the end IF IT”S NECESSARY. i’ve said the same thing about the public option, chuck it in HCR if necessary, but don’t just cave at the beginning and constantly whine publicly about how we can never win.

  133. BeccaM says:

    You are obviously new here.

  134. Sorry, typo while on the iphone

  135. Nicoannie says:

    Blow it out ur ear karmanot, and everyone else here that thinks calling names makes you the big person in the room. Yea, that’s right, the GLTBQ communitiy got screwed over this. Lots of people get screwed. Poor people, black people, gays, kids, soldiers, even poor black gay kid soldiers. So untwist yer knickers and quit acting like you’re the only victim in town.
    BTW, no the political calculations which brought this on are NOT ok with me, thank you very much. What they ARE to me is repellent and disgusting. Does that mean that it is ok to slander folks with Homophobe, when it is obvious to any and all this is just juvenile baiting? Really, you believe Al Franken is a homphobic bigot…really??? What these political calculations ARE is a fact of life that big people manage to discuss and argue about all the time without resorting to being little idiots.

  136. fredndallas says:

    Speaking of political homophobia, so clearly demonstrated with this sell-out, as many are. . .

    perhaps we need to brace ourselves for the coming Supreme Court judgment on gay equality,
    which amazingly was heard with hardly a mention of the United States constitution.

  137. BeccaM says:

    How come conservative GOP demands that odious measures be included in bills never doom them, but progressive-liberal proposals always do? Abortion funding restrictions, the Keystone XL pipeline, chained-CPI, abolishing ACORN, and so on — all of them, not objectionable enough to doom a bill, but ending the “divorce or exile” choice for law-abiding American citizens? This is doom-worthy?

    By the way, it’s all fine and good to talk in theory about a DOMA repeal, but no such bill is under consideration at this time. We also have marriage equality now in the gnarled hands of the most partisan conservative Supreme Court this country has seen in generations. The likelihood of repeal for the next two years is absolutely nil, and I’d daresay we would not see a serious repeal proposal for the foreseeable future. If nothing else, the Dems will gladly leave the anti-gay veto with the Republicans by never doing anything about the filibuster.

    And even when we do get a victory, like DADT, they tarnish it by excluding anti-discrimination language — the White House lobbied against the language, by the way. Or they pass a hate crimes law that has only been used once in four years, leading me to suspect that a commitment to a near total lack of DOJ enforcement was one of the backroom deals made between the Dems and GOPers.

    This immigration reform bill is right here, right now. It was the exactly appropriate place to advance and secure this one small but important civil right for gay and lesbian binational families, one right out of the 1100-plus currently denied us.

    It wasn’t just the cowardly political homophobia of the Democrats on that committee, but that it was clear from the outset that they didn’t even try to make their case or to call the GOPers on their bluff. After telling us for more than a year it was a slam dunk, that the fix would be included, we only found out after the bill was on the verge of being passed out of committee, “Oh yeah, sorry, the Republicans said they’d kill the whole bill if we included that, so we dropped it. But hey — we didn’t include anything that specifically bans gay people from immigrating, so that makes it a Big Gay Immigration Bill!”

    If we cannot count on them to stand for LGBT rights when the just, right, and compassionate choice is right there, on one injustice that does not even require them to say it’s about ‘gay marriage’, but instead correcting a discriminatory rule in our immigration policy, how could we be so foolish as to think they’ll ever go full-bore with a DOMA repeal any time in the next decade or two?

  138. karmanot says:

    Damn right!

  139. BrandySpears says:

    Google is your friend. Check it out.

  140. karmanot says:

    who else are gays going to vote for? Keep our enemies closer than our false friends. Tea anyone?

  141. karmanot says:

    Maybe you should do the adult thing Dirkie and STFU.

  142. karmanot says:

    That point on her head could spin a plate of BS.

  143. It’s solid logic. Some days are set aside for reflection and introspection, not for celebration. If someone said “Happy Remembrance Day!” to me I’d think there was something wrong with them.

  144. karmanot says:

    “ad-hominem” oh yes, that standby Libertarian flag of self pity.

  145. karmanot says:

    Yep, both feet in her yapper and her head up her A.

  146. karmanot says:

    I’m surprised you don’t gag with both feet in your mouth. You clearly have no knowledge of Diane Feinstein and seem to support the feckless opportunism of Al Franken. So, political calculations that exclude the GLTBQ communities are just fine with you? Go toll on another site.

  147. Zorba says:

    I have never, ever heard anyone say “Happy Martin Luther King Day!”
    That would be every bit as inappropriate.

  148. NorthAlabama says:

    nothing would make me happier!

  149. Bill_Perdue says:

    Political apathy and being in a political closet are both defined as being a Democrat or a Republican.

  150. karmanot says:


  151. Bill_Perdue says:

    “in the larger scheme of things” both parties support wars of aggression, undoing Social Security and Medicare, immigration reform, union busting, wrecking the environment, going easy on polluters and both attack the Bill of Rights with equal vigor.

    As a Democrat, how many of those things do you support?

    What the GOP wants is what Democrats want. Democrats are Republicans in drag.

  152. karmanot says:

    “Ralph was right.” Indeed, when history recounts these days, Ralph will be the one consistent truth in this sewer of an Empire of ours.

  153. karmanot says:

    Neutral forums like newspaper sites? There are no MSM neutral sites. Koch brothers are trying to by the LA Times. The NY Times is an establishment lap dog. What neutral sites, give us some links, please.

  154. BeccaM says:

    I could almost handle a defeat if they were willing to call it that. I’d still be angry, but not to the extent when the Dems have had the frickin’ gall to try to pass this off as a Big Gay Immigration Victory.

    It’s a defeat. We wanted one thing, for law-abiding American gay and lesbian binational couples not to have to choose between divorce or exile. The GOP bigots stomped their little feet and essentially said no, gay people deserve to suffer, and the Dems said, okay, fine we’ll drop it, they don’t really matter anyway.

  155. karmanot says:

    Exactly! I’ll never forget that day. That cow doesn’t have a progressive bone in her elitist body.

  156. Bill_Perdue says:

    He’s a Democrat, what exactly did you expect?

  157. Bill_Perdue says:

    Wrong. Dead wrong.

    Bigots are those who commit bigoted acts. These Democrats are bigots in action and it makes no difference at all what they think privately, which in most cases would shock us.

    Republicans call us faggots and dykes to our faces but Democrats wait until we’ve left the room, leaving a check and promising to vote for them.

    The bill is not a path to citizenship, it’s a racist road block.

  158. karmanot says:

    Worthy of Sun Tzu—–I like it!

  159. BrandySpears says:

    HA! I guess I have to wish condolences on MLK Day according to your logic.

  160. karmanot says:

    Optimist lemmings following Obozo Dems over the right wing cliff.

  161. BeccaM says:

    I just read a post on Pam’s House Blend by Laurel Ramseyer that summed up my feelings:

    Sen. Feinstein, referring to the UAFA amendment the Dems will not even allow to come up for a vote, apparently tweeted, “Like Sen. Hirono’s amdt, we know this is going to blow coalition apart … Don’t want to lose Sen. Graham’s vote.”

    To which Laural responded, “What if the Democrats had said “Sen. Graham will lose Democratic support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill if we don’t include same-sex binational couples”? I guess we’ll never know.”

  162. karmanot says:

    I hope

  163. dcinsider says:

    Gee, screwed by the Dems. I NEVER saw that coming!

  164. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Republicans took the House, not the Senate, where this betrayal occurred.

    In any election the best options are to vote socialist, sit it out or write in someone like Brad Manning.

  165. dcinsider says:

    That was correct, Romney resurrected an ancient statute still on the books. However, I may be wrong, but I believe it was repealed.

  166. Olterigo says:

    Next thing you’ll be telling me is that the vast majority of Senators and the Reps are fully supportive of the lgbt-inclusive immigration reform.

  167. BrandySpears says:

    Nice political theory there on how to stick an ardent ally with the label of homophobe. Curious since the topic is immigration, why the label xenophobe and racist weren’t also tossed on Sen. Feinstein?

  168. Bill_Perdue says:

    This betrayal is not about immigrants and imported workers. It about betrayal by Democrats and Republicans of immigrants and the LGBT communities.

    1. We have no guarantee DOMA will be struck down. Nothing can be based on that.

    2. Aside from that our strategy regarding the debate on the fate of imported and immigrant workers should be guided by experience of the trade union left and by the needs of immigrant workers, not by a collection or corrupt politicians owned by the rich.

    3. One key component of the current bill would have a bracero program. “But, as a pro-business trade-off, the law may also come with an expanded “guestworker” component. Historically, defenders of worker rights, including unions, have objected to guestworker programs, calling them “modern-day indentured servitude. Guestworkers are tied to their employers on pain of deportation—making it hard for them to protest mistreatment or low pay,causing employers to hire them instead of U.S. residents.” http://www.labornotes.org/2013/02/immigration-reform-may-come-big-gifts-employers

    4) Obama, as always, cannot be trusted. He promised to cut deportations, which under his administration rose exponentially, but they’re only down 2%. “In 2012, more than 400,000 immigrants were deported—a record. Only slightly more than half had been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, and at least 90,000 were deported in violation of the new guidelines.”

    As unions point out the Democrats plan is not a pathway to citizenship, it’s a roadblock. It requires “immigrants who entered the U.S. prior to December 31, 2011 will have a window to apply for a new Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status. Anyone deported in 2012 is not eligible. Approval is contingent on:
    – successful background check certifying an individual is not
    a security threat
    – no felony convictions (minor misdemeanors are under
    – payment of back taxes
    – payment of fees, potentially up to $2,000
    – payment of a $500 fine.
    – RPI status will last six years, and will allow individuals,
    their spouses, and families to work in the U.S. and travel outside the country.

    When six years are up, RPIs must go through the original application process again, including paying fees and fines again. They must prove their average income has been 100 percent of the poverty level or they have equivalent resources, or prove they have held a job the entire time they
    held RPI status (unemployed no more than 60 days).”


    Immigrant and imported workers, among the lowest paid in the nation, absolutely cannot afford this. The Democrat/Republican plan is a racist and homophobic scam not worthy of support under any circumstances.

  169. karmanot says:


  170. ronbo says:

    I’d be happy with a second party.

  171. karmanot says:

    Thank you.

  172. karmanot says:

    Take down the lesser evilism is ’16.’

  173. ronbo says:

    “there is no comparison between the two parties” Actually there is little to no difference between the two parties – in actions taken. Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Obama proposed cuts to Social Security. Reid refuses to eliminate the supermajority rule. Pelosi took impeachment off the table. The two parties work together for the benefit of the corporations and 1%.

    The difference between the two parties is who they market to: either the left or the right.

  174. BrandySpears says:

    Ah, so you think the “transphobe” label tossed at you and Barney Frank is just? Nah, it’s hyperbole as well. I can’t help but see the irony on the trans-inclusive ENDA and this bill. The senators got the best that they could obtain – political reality.

  175. karmanot says:

    Congress is a concentration camp where Justice, Honor and Truth go to die.

  176. karmanot says:

    Wave that hero’s corpse all you want Missy. You don’t have a clue about DiFi. Happy Harvey Milk Day?–what a sick thing to say. There is nothing happy about Harvey’s last day. Just STFU and troll somewhere else.

  177. Olterigo says:

    I’m glad to hear the two Democratic Senators from Alabama will be voting for the LGBT-inclusive immigration reform.

  178. BlueIdaho says:

    Ouch, that statement really hurt LOL. Plus it is incredibly stupid.

  179. karmanot says:

    “—but also be realistic too.” I see, the old clutching the pearls of lesser evilism again. The time has come to abandon the Democrats and cause what ever damage possible in ’16.’ I just can’t believe the gullibility of rationalists excusing the Obama cabal—AGAIN.


  180. tiponeill says:

    Someone should inform the Dems that undocumented immigrants don’t vote, but gay citizens do.

  181. karmanot says:

    Oh yeah. And what a compete a**hole has Franken become.

  182. karmanot says:

    Old helmet hair DiFi has has had an animus for the GLTBQ communities since her Supervisor days. I voted against her in the last election. It’s time for progressive voters to take out Obama democrats where ever they can.

  183. FLL says:

    English: Hahahahaha.
    Spanish: Jajajajaja.

  184. karmanot says:

    Only when he’s looking for those special kinds of salami.

  185. Au but that’s the way political homophobia works. There all on our side until they have to actually stick their necks out, then not so much. It’s much more subtle than GOP homophobia. And somewhat more duplicitous.

  186. Naja pallida says:

    “The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.”

    How is it that any time Democrats have to fight a battle, they throw their own under the bus first, instead of forcing Republicans to throw their own under the bus? If they just stood up for themselves, they would force the Republicans to decide, what is more important: offending the largest minority in the country, that already really doesn’t like them much, as well as all immigrants, or accepting that a few thousand gay people might have equal treatment within the immigration system – which is going to happen within a few years anyway.

    Cowards, the lot of them.

  187. Oh wow didn’t Ben realize it was Harvey milk day

  188. Olterigo says:

    I’m glad to hear Idaho’s two Democratic US Senators are supportive of including same-sex couples in immigration reform.

  189. Well sure, it would doom the bill AFTER republicans threaten to take hostages and the gay, progressive and immigration groups don’t fight back with anything more than a press release, and that only after the gay blogs went ballistic. If defeat is a certainty it’s only because every one of them rolled over and helped ensure that defeat would be a certainty. I’m sorry but that’s homophobic. And it stinks.

  190. BeccaM says:

    In 1983, she vetoed the city’s first-in-the-nation domestic partnership registry bill. She also famously refused to participate in the Gay Pride parade.

    She was eventually rewarded with a virtually permanent Senator seat. I’d say she’s learned she can betray us whenever she likes and get away with it.

  191. FLL says:

    No, it’s not necessary for the Court to address the issue in its ruling, and if immigration law already recognizes marriages based on where they were celebrated, I very much hope the Court just leaves well enough alone.

  192. Mark_in_MN says:

    I doubt its a question the court would address at this point, because it wasn’t at issue in the case. From what I understand, most of federal law doesn’t stipulate it must be recognized in the state of residence. Social Security apparently does, as one of only a small number of places where that matters. If DOMA is struck down, that should become a priority for change, I think.

  193. MichaelS says:

    Absolutely correct. Here are two good sources: http://www.usmarriagelaws.com/marriage_licenses/ and http://www.weddingvendors.com/marriage-license-laws/. I checked all the marriage equality states — NY, IA, MA, VT, NH, CT, DE, MN, DC, WA, RI, ME, and MD, as well as CA (have I missed any?) — and not a single one requires residency.

  194. FLL says:

    Obama’s recent lobbying for Leahy to drop the inclusion of same-sex couples from the immigration bill is not an auspicious sign concerning his intentions. (Here is the link to the story as reported by CBS News.)

    Concerning your mention of gay bars in Chicago, I think you actually mean gay bathhouses in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago’s North Side. I will admit that the Andersonville neighborhood is a bit out of the way for someone who, like Obama, lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood near the University of Chicago on Chicago’s Near South Side. It’s not like someone living in Hyde Park stops off somewhere in Andersonville while he’s out getting groceries.

  195. Petain was a hero of World War I and still a traitor in World War II.

  196. FLL says:

    If it is the case that most marriage-equality states have no residency requirements, then everything hinges on whether the Supreme Court considers a marriage legal if it is legal where it was celebrated, or only if it is legal in the couple’s current state of residence. This would simplify things a lot for the Court. The Court could give same-sex couples a viable alternative (that doesn’t involve uprooting their lives and careers) with minimal effort.

  197. JayRandal says:

    As for President Obama: He has a choice to sign blatant discrimination immigration bill or veto it as sludge. We Gays are watching to see if he throws us under the bus again. As reminder to him Gays
    have kept silent about him visiting Gay bars in Chicago before he married Michelle. He could be outed.

  198. JayRandal says:

    As for Sen. Feinstein having once been mayor of Gay San Francisco her betrayal can’t be allowed to go unchallenged. Either she recants otherwise Californians should force her out of Senate seat.

  199. Mark_in_MN says:

    You’re right, Mike. Minnesota does not have a residency requirement,

  200. Mark_in_MN says:

    My recollection is that it was then Gov. Romney who had applied a 19th century statute (with origins in biracial marriage issues of the era) such that couples who had no Massachusetts resident couldn’t get a license. I also recall that the law has changes, although I could be wrong about that.

    One source I found is that none of the states with marriage equality have residency requirements. As to the accuracy of that source, I couldn’t say, but I don’t recall any such issues being raised since the application of 19th century statute in MA.

  201. JayRandal says:

    Gays like myself are considered as 2nd class citizens deemed inferior. Equal rights the top issue in US.
    Senators whom discriminate should be forced to tender their resignations including Sen. Schumer and
    GOPers whom are bigots. Immigration bill discriminating against Gays renders it as CRAP period.

  202. BeccaM says:

    It’s ‘political homophobia,’ a term that has long since been defined on this blog and in other venues.

    Our supposed allies support our cause only when it’s easy to do so, when that support is symbolic only, or merely claim to do so when there’s no chance of success, and only respond favorably when the utmost pressure is brought to bear, such as the DADT repeal.

    Invariably the excuse is they’re afraid to help us because doing so will scuttle some other oh-so-important policy goal. The result is the same: We’re thrown under the bus and criticized for complaining about it, all the while being told it is simply impossible to help us because those nasty bigoted GOPers won’t let them.

  203. BlueIdaho says:

    You should spend more time reading gay history in San Francisco whilst Ms. Feinstein was a supervisor, and then mayor. You statement proves you know nothing about this important period and how she screwed the gays over and over again. Go be your Feinstein apologist somewhere else.

  204. FLL says:

    Agreed. Many of these comments should move to the comment pages of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, etc.

  205. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I’m rather certain that Minnesota does not have a residency requirement. Many people are expecting same gender couples from Wisconsin and the Dakotas to visit Minnesota to be wed.

  206. leliorisen says:

    I think the biggest problem, in general, is apathy, or the feeling that somebody else will do it. They will not. It is a rare person who actually takes some sort of positive action.

    I am amazed, for example, how few people take the time to go to neutral forums (like newspaper sites) to post pro-glbt advocacy positions on various issues we are passionate about. If even 1 well-placed argument influences just a single person, it is worth doing.

    We spend so much time preaching to the choir, and often fighting amongst ourselves, when each of us has the power to move the process forward by doing some sort of direct action.

    Ripples really do generate into waves. But the ripple has to start from somewhere.

  207. BeccaM says:

    If it’s what the GOP wants, then maybe the Dems should offer a genuine alternative rather than one Lesser Evil after another.

  208. FLL says:

    I would be curious to find out what the residency requirements are in states with marriage equality. I distinctly remember Massachusetts adding a residency requirement in 2004 or 2005 because some politicians did not want Massachusetts to become “the Las Vegas” of gay marriage. This is an area of needed research, especially at the moment.

  209. BeccaM says:

    I’m not holding my breath on this particular Supreme Court’s decisions. This is very nearly the same partisan court that gave us Dubya. And which did give us Citizens United. And which upheld the very corporation-friendly PPACA.

    In oral arguments, it sounded very much like several of the justices were wishing Prop 8 never reached SCOTUS and inclined to deny standing — which could mean they’d kick it back to the District courts for re-hearing, meaning years more litigation. And as for DOMA, every time Kennedy opened his mouth it was clear he had cold feet.

  210. BrandySpears says:

    I agree. Comparing Sen. Feinstein to a homophobe is not only stupid but reckless hyperbole.

  211. FLL says:

    My point in the reply above was that the 2010 voting totals reflect the historical pattern. I agree with you that progressives are disproportionately likely to sit out the midterms, as opposed to conservatives (especially the far right) who will vote in every single election. Enthusiasm is the missing element among progressives during midterm elections. Your point is well taken.

  212. Mark_in_MN says:

    Many states, and I believe most states, do not have a residency requirement to get married. I’m not aware of any state with marriage equality that requires residency by one or both members of the couple.

  213. BeccaM says:

    To say that without the UAFA provisions that this immigration bill is in any way a gay rights victory is an insult. Period, end of.

    And anybody fooled by this ridiculous assertion is a gullible idiot.

  214. rerutled says:

    …because of plurality elections.

    The solution to this problem is Instant Runoff Voting, requiring a majority to win. IRV empowers the political center. We need them, nationwide.

  215. FLL says:

    Spot on. Definitely the best-case scenario.

  216. nicho says:

    I didn’t make your point for you — because you really don’t have a point — just blather.

  217. NorthAlabama says:

    john – i shouldn’t be laughing at your post, i know i shouldn’t – i can’t stop!

    it was a trade off, and guess who got traded? the immigrant voting bloc is
    larger than the gay voting bloc. sure, dems will support gay rights, up until
    gay rights conflict with other voter issues they support, then it’s simply

    because, really, who else are gays going to vote for? republicans? what a sham.
    what cowards.

  218. leliorisen says:

    The answer is getting involved in primary politics NOW. I want to see Schumer lose in a primary. That takes a lot more than wishing it were so. It takes work. From within.

  219. nicho says:

    I have no idea what those two things have to do with one another. This is just a stupid comparison.

  220. leliorisen says:

    FWIW, that is exactly what the GOP wants.

    I get extremely disappointed with Democrats, but there is no comparison between the 2 parties in the larger scheme of things. I prefer to fight for lgbt and progressive goals from within the party. If you want to fight Schumer, for example, fight him in a primary battle. If you want to apply pressure, contact legislators and lobby glbt advocacy groups to do the same. They need pressure themselves.

  221. leliorisen says:

    I agree with your point. However….

    In the upcoming decisions, it seems that the worst the Supreme Court will do in the Edith Windsor case is let an Appelate ruling be upheld. In that case, 3 states, I believe, including New York, would allow our married couples to receive federal benefits. A gay legal expert I spoke with on the immigration matter (we had just seen a movie that tackled the subject) seemed to feel that it would supercede and alter current immigration laws. So, I am hopeful.

  222. Mark_in_MN says:

    Yes, midterm elections usually bring out fewer voters. Isn’t that what is bing pointed to. Too many voters who vote for progressives and Democrats sit out midterms.

  223. leliorisen says:

    I don’t think being involved in a tragedy has ever exempted someone from acting responsibly.

    If anything, Senator Feinstein should know better. Harvey Milk is rolling in his grave over this.

  224. Mark_in_MN says:

    There is every reason to be upset about this. Provision for binational same-sex couples should be in the law. It’s fair. It’s right. It’s just. We ought to be angry. I would have preferred a strategy that put it into the bill in committee and then let the legislative process continue. If it were an absolute roadblock to passage in both houses, there are opportunities for the provisions opponents to remove it. I’d prefer the Democratic controlled Senate pass a version with this. If the reality is the house would vote for the bill without including gay and lesbian couples/families but would not pass it wi that provision, let them pass their version and do what is possible in conference (like its supposed to work, but too often doesn’t anymore).

    But the thing is, I think the Democratic Senators on the committee are probably right. Including the provision that we want, one at is right and just, almost certainly dooms the bill. I would doubt it would even get to the floor, since the motion to consider is stupidly subject to filibuster. It’s most certainly frustrating to be pushed aside yet again, but is it really better than none of these issues get addressed because we’re insisting that _all_ else be sacrificed for our issues? Call them out on this, but also be realistic too.

    Besides, I think the best solution to the issue doesn’t exist in a change in immigration law but the repeal of DOMA and marriage equality. Multiple birds with one stone there.

  225. BrandySpears says:

    The woman who found Harvey Milk’s corpse is emblazoned with “homophobe”? You got to be kidding.
    Happy Harvey Milk Day!

  226. KingCranky says:

    Guarantee the political homophobes, the cowardly Democrats you rightly called out, will be fundraising ASAP, probably with the “Tell the GOP to stop its homophobia” tag line.

    They’re insistent you supply them with campaign contributions and GOTV efforts, but your agenda is just too much of a “burden” to deal with now, perhaps somewhere down the road “at the right time”.

    Of course, it’s always the “right time” to advance basic human equality.

    That’s one of the basic differences between the two parties, the GOP panders to its teabagger base, the Democratic party slaps its base around, a reality that won’t change until elected Democrats lose their seats, either in primaries or a general election.

  227. leliorisen says:

    I think gay Democrats need to be more involved in the primary process, more activist in general, and take more initiative in holding our so-called advocacy groups accountable.

    We can’t even get politicians and advocacy groups to really push for ENDA, while in the meantime, 29 states allow for the firing of a person, or denying them housing, solely based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    A Texas man in a 34-year relationship can have his partner develop Alzheimer’s, be put in a nursing home, and then have his relationship shut off completely, solely because a court awards the partner’s sister guardianship, and nobody in the gay community bats an eye. The man loses his house, the partner’s funds get ransacked by the sister…all despite their having set up legal protections for themselves…and nobody steps in. No glbt advocacy groups, precious little gay press….nobody.

    We let a man like this fend for himself….we let ENDA go unfought while we put all of our interest in marriage equality….and we wonder why the action referred to in this blog post happens?

    I think the answer is self-evident.

  228. FLL says:

    That’s why I’m calling Schumer’s defeat in the primary the best-case scenario.

  229. MyrddinWilt says:

    And in a few years time the GOP is going to rue the day they used it.

    They have tied the name of a Democratic party president to what is going to be the US health care system in years to come. For 20% of the population it will be the only reason they have health care.

    People hate change, they love the status quo. Obamacare is the status quo in 8 months time.

  230. FLL says:

    (Moderators: Please forgive the cut and paste from below.)

    The best-case scenario in an opinion to overturn Section 3 of DOMA would be for the Supreme Court to consider a marriage legal if it is legal where it is celebrated. Even if this is the case, most same-sex couples will have to change their state of residence first in order to get married at all, something that straight couples have never had to worry about. Only after changing residence (which can require living in a state for one year) could the couple move back to a non-equality state without the threat of deportation. Third, if the Supreme Court considers a marriage legal only if it is legal in the state of residence, legally married same-sex couples would be faced with deportation as soon as they moved to a non-equality state.

  231. FLL says:

    I wouldn’t want to make you mad, so let me explain myself. I’m certainly not one of those horrible queers or progressives who simply wanted a fair and “comprehensive” immigration bill. I’m a sincere Tea Party enthusiast (although I’ve only become one within the past 48 hours) who wants to kill the entire immigration bill in line with conservative, Tea Party principles. Now you couldn’t possibly get mad about that, could you? Trust me. Really.

  232. MichaelS says:

    I am SO voting against Schumer in any primary. Unfortunately, I cannot vote against him in favor of a Republican for one simple reason: the Supreme Court. Even the most liberal, progressive Republican we might send to the Senate would give Mitch McConnell one more vote to be Senate leader and control the agenda, and block nominations. No. PLEASE, *SOMEONE*… primary Schumer!

  233. Ryan says:

    Being a member of a coalition is only worthwhile if they actually do something to help you. I’m worried that the organizations that are supposed to be our advocates have sold us out. They are doing a lot of damage. I could accept fighting and losing. That has happened before and we’ve come back to win later. What makes me mad is that the people who are supposed to be our advocates aren’t even trying. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me much less enthusiastic about the immigration bill even though I have long been supportive of reform.

  234. If.

    Name me one person who predicted the Health Care Reform supreme court decision correctly.

    Big if.

  235. MichaelS says:

    John, I’m confused — if DOMA is overruled and gays in the US can marry foreign gays, won’t those spouses be entitled to the same immigration benefits that married heteros now enjoy? What extra benefit would the immigration bill grant that we would not be afforded under DOMA repeal? It would seem that granting immigration rights to foreign-national partners of gay-Americans would be subject to the same pros and cons of granting immigration rights to foreign-national partners of straight Americans: if just partners, the answer is no to citizenship (I don’t like that, but at least it would be consistent), but if married (and with DOMA repealed) the answer would have to be yes, as it is for all couples (again, I don’t like the ridiculous hoops foreign spouses have to jump through, but at least it would be applied equally, across the board).

  236. FLL says:

    Rather than either blind allegiance to the Dems or voting “third party,” consider this idea, Nicho. The Dems want to be so proud of their unfair immigration bill, so why not pretend to be Tea Party enthusiasts and call “your” Republican congressman and tell him to kill the whole immigration bill? There are all sorts of ways to have fun if homophobes really want to get nasty. Why not start a fake-Tea-Party/secretly-progressive campaign to kill the immigration bill?

  237. nicho says:


  238. nicho says:

    We already have “third parties.” Hasn’t worked.

  239. FLL says:

    If you just want to be goal-oriented, what you should do is throw as much support as you can toward the side that wants to kill the immigration bill entirely, which would be the Tea Party. There are plenty of Republican congressmen, and even a few Democrats from red states, who are feeling pressure from their constituents to kill the whole bill. At this point, progressives are justified in adding to that pressure. Go for it.

  240. dula says:

    The BS is why millions sat out the 2010 elections.

  241. karen in kalifornia says:

    Whamo, right on….that’s exactly my sentiment.

  242. Mark_in_MN says:

    The percentage of the population that lives in states with marriage equality matters in terms of ease of access. It will matter most for those who cannot afford a trip to a state in which they can get married. There are very few places in federal law where local recognition of a marriage is written into the law (Social Security being the biggie here, I understand), so, unless its spelled out that way in statute, it shouldn’t matter where one lives, only that one has been married. If that ends up not being the case, its not the law that can be blamed by the administration for its implementation thereof. But overturning of section 3 of DOMA should widely solve (but not completely) the immigration issue for LGBT binational couples whatever the legal landscape for marriage equality is. Marriage equality is a better way to completely solve the issue, in my mind, than creating a separate stopgap measure in immegrants on law. But the DOMA solution should get us very far to a complete solution, not just a small way.

  243. DonewithDems says:

    This is why I left the Dems far behind. They left me long ago. I rarely vote for dems or repubs now.

  244. I’m sorry massa. I’ll be a good faggot so long as you don’t beat me again.

  245. Yep, was too many words for the graphic :) But they really are more than cowards. They’re political homophobes. They don’t really think we’re equal. We’re not as good or as deserving as Latinos. We don’t deserve to be in “their” bill, because, you know, we’re different.

  246. See, that’s my problem with all of this. Where were the immigration groups, falling down on their swords for their gay coalition partners, since, after all, immigration is a GAY issue? I dont’ think I see any swords falling. Other than some press releases from gay groups, and big deal, that’s about all I heard on this. Some coalition. We spend our groups’ gay rights money on another group’s legislation that specifically excludes us because we’re expendable, and kind of icky.

  247. Mike Meyer says:

    Third Party, Folks.

  248. Butch1 says:

    What is sad is that she used an assassination of a gay man to jump start her career and this is how she votes and rules in the Senate.

  249. Ryan says:

    John has previously used the full term political homophobia. Political homphobes are supportive of gay and lesbian people in their personal interactions and in their public speech but are terrified of legislation that specifically helps lesbian and gay people.

    Also, political calculation can also include the calculation that they would be better off killing the provision so that they can continue to use it as part of their fundraising appeals.

  250. FLL says:

    I agree with your sentiment, but not necessarily with your numbers. Midterm elections always draw a smaller percentage of the electorate than presidential elections. The historical data seems to indicate that. Would you agree?

  251. pappyvet says:

    Tar sands ..yes, “
    comprehensive” immigration reform bill inclusive of gays ..no

    10% controling 90% of the wealth.. yes
    Middle class ..no

    Monsanto ..yes
    The people ..no

  252. Jonas Grumby says:

    If 29 million Obama voters hadn’t pitched a fit and sat out the 2010 elections …

    I do NOT like Obama at all. He is a Reagan Conservative. However, sitting out elections gives you this BS.

  253. Butch1 says:

    It damned well matters to the families that are already married and have to continue to wait to be reunited with their loved one. It’s easy to say if your spouse is with you but if yours is in another country and this country is just punishing you because you are gay then it makes a hell of a difference.

  254. You said it. When has this “baby steps” method ever worked as advertised in recent years? The method isn’t to pass an inadequate and compromised bill and use that as a basis for later improvements. The method is to pass an inadequate and compromised bill, declare the issue solved and then run as far away as possible. Campaign finance reform, health insurance, Medicare as you point out, and now this.

  255. Ryan says:

    Will the HRC endorse Sen. Graham’s reelection campaign because it helps a gay person?

  256. FLL says:

    I have one last thought concerning Chuck Schumer. He is dispensable in 2016. The worst-case scenario is that he will be replaced by a New York Republican who is no more anti-gay than Schumer. Keep in mind that marriage equality passed in New York State in 2011 with a number of Republican state legislators voting in favor. There is actually a precedent for this because HRC endorsed Schumer’s pro-gay Republican opponent, Alfonse D’Amato, in 1998. I certainly wouldn’t advise supporting a Republican senatorial candidate in a state like North Carolina, but for the purpose of carrying out Schumer’s defeat, it makes perfect strategic sense in New York State. And that’s only the worst-case scenario. An even better scenario would be if Schumer were defeated in the primary by a better candidate. I can see no down side to gay rights groups abandoning Schumer in 2016.

  257. Butch1 says:

    I’d be happy to accommodate and vote for any person that runs in their party against them! The democrats need real democrats that will actually do what they are supposed to do and not what the republicans want them to do. How novel.

  258. Butch1 says:

    That’s what they are hoping we will continue to think.

    I voted for a third party candidate in the last election even though he had a snowball’s chance of winning. Some day more people will awake and say enough and will do this and it may become a reality.

  259. BlueIdaho says:

    Ditto for Feinstein. She has walked all over the gays since her days as a supervisor in San Francisco.

  260. Butch1 says:

    ” Snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.” One can always count on it from these rubes.

  261. Butch1 says:

    Shummer should never be listened to or ever trusted again. He is a back stabber and whenever he tries to tie himself to the gays we should always heckle him with this albatross around his neck.

  262. nicoannie says:

    Nicho, yes! It was a crass political calculation. Thanks for making my point for me. Also appreciate your affirming the need to avoid self-serving, personal bias, as well as your brilliant, type-section exemplar of ad-hominem ignorance. Well played!

  263. FLL says:

    One way in which presidential leadership is used is by calling senators and trying to convince them to vote a certain way. Obama very recently used presidential leadership in that fashion. Unfortunately, he used that leadership for the purpose of excluding binational same-sex couples from the immigration bill. Instead of calling Schumer to lobby him for supporting Leahy’s pro-equality amendment, he called Leahy to lobby him for dropping his pro-equality amendment
    (as reported by CBS News at this link). It would be ever so helpful if people in both the progressive and mainstream media bring this to everyone’s attention (including the president) and make it part of the national discussion.

    As far as the non-stop blah blah about how the Supreme Court will make all this better, I have a few words to say. First, it’s disrespectful to the Supreme Court as well as gay and bisexual Americans to rush all of this through when the Supreme Court will be ruling in just a few weeks since Congress doesn’t recess until August. Everyone involved looks like they’re chomping at the bit to pass a homophobic law in order to pander to an ever decreasing number of bigoted constituents. Just a thimble full of respect would have gone a long way here. Second, the best-case scenario in an opinion to overturn Section 3 of DOMA would be for the Supreme Court to consider a marriage legal if it is legal where it is celebrated. Even if this is the case, most same-sex couples will have to change their state of residence first in order to get married at all, something that straight couples have never had to worry about. Only after changing residence (which can require living there 1 year) could the couple move back to a non-equality state without the threat of deportation. Third, if the Supreme Court considers a marriage legal if it is legal in the state of residence, a legally married same-sex couples would be faced with deportation as soon as they moved to a non-equality state.

    UAFA is still needed, as is an ENDA executive order, and it would be very messy for the nation if Obama spent the next three and a half years stonewalling on both. In some cases, however, I’m rather partial to messy.

  264. nicho says:

    I can’t believe these pathetic losers who say we should take what we can get — baby steps, they say — and improve it later on. This was the same argument they used when they passed the Medicare Prescription Plan. It wasn’t perfect they said, but it was a start and we could fine-tune it down the road. Well, it’s been 10 fucking years now and nothing has changed — except that Big Pharma has been ripping off seniors for a decade — and no one has made a move to “improve” anything.

    Democrats — Republicans — no significant difference. Ralph was right.

  265. nicho says:

    Or you could remove your embarrassing post. It’s not pretty to out yourself as a DLC ass-kisser.

  266. nicho says:

    Yes, I always am happy when my basic human rights are subject to a crass “political calculation.” Asshole.

  267. Andrew says:

    Obama likes that term.

  268. Andrew says:

    Oh, I’m asking them to kill the bill. No wait. I’m demanding that they kill the bill. UAFA will not become law unless it is part of a comprehensive agreement. When was the last time we had a comprehensive immigration bill? 1986. And the only reason this is happening is because Democrats and Republicans are competing for Latino votes. Do you think they’ll be competing for ours anytime soon? No, if we are left out, we need to kill the bill and let the politicians feel the heat. When they come back for another try, they’ll be more desperate. Either we are part of the coalition or we’re not. I’m sick of watching everybody else rise and pull the ladder up behind them. Fuck that.

  269. Stephen Clark says:

    Excellent graphics, John!
    Interesting that I received a fundraising call a couple of days ago from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. I’m glad I had the foresight to turn them down cold. Unclear why they need a majority that they won’t use.

  270. S1AMER says:

    Actually, immigration will likely fall into one of the undecided/left to future litigation areas if the court strikes down Sect. 3. Immigration is entirely a matter of federal law, so the question will be whether the American citizen sponsoring a foreign spouse for citizenship can only do so if [s]he is residing in a state whether marriage is legal. Or not.

    Of course, this is not likely to be a quick and easy decision, assuming the court leaves open how an overthrow of Sect. 3 would be applied. What about an American who marries in France next month? Does it matter where they live in Minnesota or North Dakota? What about an Kansan who marries a Japanese in New York? Do they have to move to a marriage state? Historically citizenship is determined at the borders of the country, not at state lines, so an overturning of Sect. 3 ought to matter for Americans with same-sex spouses, wherever they marry and reside. But, yes, I agree with you that it could take some time to sort this out.

  271. Dirk Rockwood says:

    Thank you, very well said. John seems to think he gets everything he wants. It doesn’t work that way. Baby steps sometimes, sometimes the whole nine yards. attacking good people won’t get you much. Maybe you should do the adult thing John, and pull this post down.

  272. MyrddinWilt, the Affordable Care Act is the name of the medical bill, not Obamacare. The GOP called it that, and Obama didn’t mind.

  273. MyrddinWilt says:

    Lets see what the Republicans do in the full Senate and the House.

    If the GOP really wanted to pass immigration reform they would not have demanded the bill exclude gays. I suspect that the real position here is that everyone in Congress has decided immigration reform is not going to happen and they want to make sure that they don’t get the blame.

    The GOP isn’t insisting on this to please their base, they are going to be just as furious if the bill includes gays or not. The only reason to demand the bill exclude same sex marriage is to increase the political cost to the Democrats and make their base unhappy with the bill.

    As with Obamacare the problem we have is that Obama’s aim is to get something through that will have his name on it. What he gets through is much less important to him. So they abandoned single payer and the public option in the health care debate without any effort to defend them.

  274. nicho says:

    But we have to vote for “the lesser or two evils” because … because ….because …. damn, I forgot why again.

  275. Nicoannie says:

    OK, this makes me mad. To simply label these Democrats as homophobes is to use a crass ad hominem which places you squarely in the Republican playbook. Well done, sir, well done. If you can’t see this was a political calculation, then you badly need a personal bias check. Your passion is commendable, but your lack of insight and blatant Rebublican-like whining are not.

  276. rerutled says:

    It is not correct to say that if SCOTUS kills DOMA, none of this will matter. It *is* correct to say that if SCOTUS kills DOMA, then *probably* none of this will matter *eventually* — perhaps in 2-4 years.

    If SCOTUS kills DOMA in June, then legally married couples — including same-sex couples — will be covered immediately. But only 20% of the US population have access to legal marriage in their states. So even if DOMA gets struck down (and 99% of SCOTUS observers believe it will be), that’s 80% of gay couples out in the cold still. If Prop 8 gets struck down too — and most observers think it will — then 40% of same-sex couples will be covered, leaving 60% of same-sex couples out in the cold still. That’s a majority of same-sex couples who will not have equal access to Federal Immigration Laws.

    Very few SCOTUS observers believe that SCOTUS will extend marriage equality to all 50 states in June — which is what will be required for “none of this to matter”. Most legal observers still believe we are a few years away from that legal scenario, requiring either state-by-state litigation and balloting, or a Congressional law which enforces a national Marriage Equality scenario.

    There is no credible scenario in which “none of this will matter” any time soon.

  277. Hue-Man says:

    Typical Democrats. Tip-toe around afraid of their own shadows – and angry looks from the TeaParty/GOP wingnuts. Concede 100% of irrational Republican demands in their first offer. Enter into negotitations with GOP terrorists who demand even more far-right wing concessions. After conceding everything, Democrats declare victory!

    Far-fetched? Obamacare used to be a CONSERVATIVE talking point before this cowardly crew started “negotiating”. (They ALL deserve to be primaried to get politicians elected who have some guts and principles.)

  278. S1AMER says:

    “Homephobe” is not the correct name for Democrats who caved to Republicans, the true homophobes.

    The correct word for the Democrats is “Coward.”

    If SCOTUS actually kills Section 3 of DOMA, none of this will matter. (And, frankly, the immigration bill probably doesn’t matter anyhow, since little is likely to make it through both houses but lots of smart foreigners who will work for American tech companies for lower wages, and foreign ag workers will will work for almost nothing.)

    Meanwhile, if the bill were to make it through with a path for citizenship, tens of thousands of undocumented LGBT foreigners here illegally would have a pathway to eventual citizenship. So that, at least, is something.

  279. Indigo says:

    Tell me again how that’s a surprise.

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