Immigration reform is so gay — or not

Surprise. Gays have been axed from the immigration reform bill.

Oh sure.  We’re still “in” the bill, in a way.  The same way we’re in every piece of legislation.  By our mere existence.

You see, X% of the American people are gay, so any bill affecting anyone affects “some” gay people.  And some argue that that makes everything “gay” and a “gay issue.”  I don’t agree.  There are lots of causes I support that aren’t “gay” causes just because I support them, or even because they’re fellow civil rights causes (e.g., integration of schools isn’t a “gay” issue just because x% of the African-American kids being discriminated against were gay – I still support integration, but not because I think it’s gay).

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

I raise this point because there’s a big push going on to call immigration reform “gay,” and thus to get the gay rights groups, and the gay community at large, to make a big push for immigration reform, since we’re the new “it”-girl of effective political action.  And while I’m supportive of immigration reform, it’s because I’m sympathetic on the issue, not because I think it’s a gay issue.

Especially when we’re axed from the bill, which we just were.

What they refused to include in the immigration reform bill was UAFA, The Uniting American Families Act.  In a nutshell, if you’re American and you marry your non-American spouse, your spouse can remain in the US.  If you’re gay and you marry your non-American spouse, under DOMA they can’t be recognized and they get deported.  UAFA would fix that (as might overturning DOMA – but there’s no guarantee that’s going to happen, and in any case, we only have marriage in 9 states and DC).

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

Up until now, UAFA was “the” gay immigration issue.  But now, UAFA almost feels like the crazy aunt we’re hiding in the attic (or closet), for fear of upturning the immigration apple cart.  And that bothers me.  Especially because I’m being asked to supporting immigration reform as a gay issue, when immigration reform isn’t supporting the one gay issue we have.

If you’re wondering who specifically is responsible for cutting gays out of the immigration reform bill, it’s these eight lovely souls, including four Democrats:

Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

Another word about this notion that so long as 3% of those affected are gay, the legislation is a “gay” issue.  Under that logic, a non-Trans-inclusive ENDA would still be trans-inclusive, and could even be called “trans legislation,” because trans-people-who-are-gay would be helped by the legislation.  And in fact they would –  the same way that gay people who are undocumented immigrants would be helped by the immigration bill. Yet, I suspect that argument wouldn’t go over too well with the trans community, or most of the gay people arguing that immigration reform is really a gay issue, and I’m not sure why it should go over any better with the gay community itself.

Joe Sudbay used the term political homophobia to describe politicians who claim to embrace us, but when push comes to shove, they throw us overboard because they fear, in spite of the polls, that we’re toxic to their causes.  Here’s Joe’s definition from 2009:

Political homophobes aren’t gay-hating in the traditional sense. In fact, publicly, most are strong supporters of LGBT equality. But, behind closed doors, many Democratic leaders, consultants, Hill staffers and the rest will vociferously argue that there is no political benefit to actually supporting LGBT rights. Political homophobia is rampant among some Democrats. In some ways, it’s worse than blatant homophobia, since we think most Democrats are on our side. And outwardly, they are.

Political homophobia dictates policy in DC more than we’d like to think.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) agreed to drop gays from the immigration bill.

I’m not convinced that gays are toxic to the immigration cause. I am convinced that far too many Republicans are homophobic bigots, and far too many Democrats are political homophobes, and that’s why they got together and axed gay couples from the immigration bill, which will make it exponentially harder to now put us back into the legislation later on.

I don’t have a personal stake in UAFA.   I’m not dating anyone, let alone someone foreign.  But it’s 2013, and I’m getting tired of my community’s issues being excluded from omnibus bills dealing with those issues because people think we have cooties.  If we have cooties, then don’t try to market the bill as “gay.”  Because it’s not.  At least not anymore.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | 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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87 Responses to “Immigration reform is so gay — or not”

  1. RyansTake says:

    Counting on too much leadership from Mr. Chained CPI is a recipe for disaster. We have to hold the President’s feet to the fire as much as anyone, because the President would sign a non-inclusive immigration reform bill in a *second* if it got to his desk, even if he knew binational LGBT couples would be screwed for years or even decades to come.

    A non-inclusive immigration reform bill *must* be a nonstarter, and rejected by every liberal, progressive and democratic group out there — to the point where immigration can’t pass without it.

  2. RyansTake says:

    I can’t wait for the day Schumer decides to cash in on Wall St. and leaves office, and even better if we can replace him with a real progressive like Elizabeth Warren. Come on, New York.

  3. RyansTake says:

    I’m all for immigration reform, but just like many LGBT activists were opposed to a transgender-less ENDA, we should all be opposed to an immigration reform bill that doesn’t the necessary LGBT provisions for gay spouses. If we don’t ensure it’s a part of a greater immigration ‘omnibus’ bill, the chances of a fix coming for gay spouses in all 50 states in the next 5 years seems remote…. even if DOMA is struck, since we’re still at a point where so few states have marriage equality and not everyone can afford to buy a plane ticket to states that do.

  4. samizdat says:

    I would add automation to that equation in #1. There are entire factories in the US and EU which have only a few people doing the work of what may have once been performed by hundreds, or thousands, of workers. And I would disagree somewhat with regards to immigrants and jobs. There once was a time, at least in the Midwest, when all of the shit jobs–admittedly so–such as drywall hanging, lawn, etc. care, motel/hotel cleaning/custodial, and the like were largely the province of the locals, whether they were white or black.

    However, before the collapse, which caused a sort of reverse migration back to Mexico, etc., it was almost impossible to see any black or white faces in those roles anymore. And as you and I know, this wasn’t because the locals were ‘a bunch of lazy poors’, and wouldn’t work as hard or as long as the ‘Mexicans’. The locals just didn’t want to work the even crappier wages offered to the imports. So the flood (was it? IDK) of immigrants coming across to the US had the effect of driving down wages. Ironically enough, at one time, unions in this country largely set the prevailing wage rate higher. The importation of poor immigrants, amongst other such devices (including the decline of jobs in manufacturing, due to automation, and the attendant loss of union jobs) drove that prevailing wage rate down. So everybody suffered (and still does) under this regime of exploitation: the immigrants themselves, and the Americans who held (hold) other jobs paying similar low wages. And look at the two-tiered wage systems negotiated by the unions representing workers at such cos. as UPS and Cat. It’s all of a piece. Immigrants are often injured, too, sometimes seriously, and thus the employers save on another cost: workman’s comp. Undocumented worker? No problem. No more payments to the work comp. system. (Although, it must be said that in Leg all over the country, the work comp. system is being gutted by RepubliWHORES, and with the occasional aid of their partners in crime, the Dims).

  5. karmanot says:

    You have a sense of humor, I’m listening now.

  6. FLL says:

    I’m sure there will never be any polling data on the opinions of undocumented immigrants. The reason should be obvious. No undocumented immigrant would ever participate in a survey because they want to stay under the radar. Why do you think the views of undocumented Mexicans would be different from their fellow Mexicans who have legal residency? That doesn’t make any sense at all.

    DelmarJackson’s comment sounded like he was lumping all immigrants from “third world countries” together and assuming anti-gay attitudes among them. He was crazy enough to compare the attitudes of Mexican-Americans with Muslims in France. The only possible rationale that he could be using is that both groups have brown skin. His unfounded generalizations are proven false by hard data, and I really don’t think you need an impossible-to-obtain survey of undocumented Mexicans to verify data from legal Mexican-American residents and citizens.

  7. DelmarJackson says:

    Thank you Becca, even though unions always end up being as bad as management they were formed to protect us from , nearly all the present day rights won by workers have come from unions. most everyone takes them for granted but it was union members fighting and dying for decent treatment and wages that gave us our workers rights.
    I watched a local public affair tv show here in Miami on immigration, the moderator asked the immigration lawyer why she needed to bring in so many workers, and the lawyer replied, her clients needed workers to work 7 days a week, and it was impossible to find local workers who were willing to do that.” I swear to god I am not making it up, it was on channel 17 public tv channel.

    However ,regarding statistics on immigrant workers coming each month, if you look at the US Governments site you will find much higher numbers of workers coming each year than was quoted by your source.

    Last year, nearly 700,000 people were issued temporary visas to work in the United States, either for several years or indefinitely

    American employers added 157,000 jobs in January, compared with a revised 196,000 jobs the previous month. For perspective (which you never see supplied by the Main Stream Media or, for that matter, by Establishment economists) about 90,000 legal immigrants arrive each month.
    Or about 1.062 million per year: see the GOVERNMENT DHS’s report U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2011.”

    National Data | January Jobs: Immigrants Displace Natives at a Record Clip—And That’s Even Before Amnesty!

  8. karmanot says:

    It could be that Professor Putman is racist ‘because’ he likes his findings.

  9. karmanot says:


  10. BemInBoston says:

    Good idea — but they’re overseas! ;)

  11. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Well, with DADT, active military gays couldn’t come out either. So the folks who came forward, like Choi, were people who had already been found out and suffered the consequences. How about gay couples who’ve already been forcibly separated by the government?

  12. BeccaM says:

    You might want to check your statistics. The grand total of employment-based permanent residency status grants in 2012 was 143,998, or roughly 14% of all such grants. The vast majority, 66%, were family sponsorships.


    Immigrants are not taking away American citizens’ jobs, not in the numbers you seem to think. Cheap compliant labor came about through the destruction of the unions and the steady erosion of organized labor rights.

  13. DelmarJackson says:

    How did you know? it helps me keep the tin foil on.

  14. DelmarJackson says:

    I partly agree, I have seen polling data that Mexican immigrants and Hispanic immigrants overall have views on gay marriage that are trending upwards. However,I have not seen any polls showing Hispanic immigrants have more tolerant views of gays in general than the native population. Hispanic Evangelicals in the polls I saw were not much in favor of gay marriage at all and if you are bringing up “brown’ people, there are literally billions of ” brown’ people that are not Hispanic and are much more anti gay than the average American polled.

  15. DelmarJackson says:

    I agree that immigrants are not the case of our problems, but they are certainly a symptom. We have people you rightly mentioned who benefit from immigration and then pass on all the costs to our communities. We also have robotics, offshoring, and many fraudulent legal work visa programs. I don’t expect you to agree with me on everything, but I think even you will agree it is foolish to have been admitting 90 to 100,000 green card workers into the country each MONTH in the midst of massive unemployment.
    Also, wages for the working poor have been depressed for decades, an endless supply of cheap compliant labor did not help.

  16. DelmarJackson says:

    Yes of course, when professor Putnam after years of studying communities of many different ethnicities determined diversity has negative implications, his findings must be racist solely because you do not like his findings. You do understand what I wrote? he studied different ethnicities and got the same result..
    Claiming all statements you disagree with as racist does not advance anything.
    You can read Professor Putnams work yourself and make up your own mind..

  17. FLL says:

    “We should be scheduling a sit in in Schumer’s office!”

    That’s the best idea I’ve seen yet. If Immigration Equality is playing nice, maybe GetEQUAL isn’t. I’m sure direct action would grab the media’s attention, which is what needs to be done.

  18. karmanot says:

    Amen to that sister. I remain intrinsically bad, am politically, criminally inclined, know how to street fight and make myself a space in which others are welcome to fit in. Erin Go Bragh!

  19. BeccaM says:

    Immigration is not why we have such lousy unemployment rates and stagnant wages. It’s the neo-liberal/neo-conservative corporate oligarchs, who dance with glee every time one minority is successfully indoctrinated into scapegoating another minority.

    Our wages and employment suck because (1) jobs have been shipped overseas due to tax incentives and ‘free trade’ agreements, and (2) ever since the 1980s, organized labor has been decimated as deliberate government-corporate policy operating hand-in-hand.

  20. BeccaM says:

    As the saying goes, the Republicans fear their base, while the Democrats hate theirs. It’s long past time to reverse that equation.

  21. DelmarJackson says:

    It is as you would imagine. LOL

    I am comforted by the tolerance that studying the immigration issue has brought me. I used to be on the opposite side of the argument. I had convinced myself that people wanting less immigration were bigots and as such no one needed to listen to any of their arguments as who listens to a bigot? I can remember distinctly vocalizing utter disdain for any American who was inconvenienced by a poor disadvantaged 3rd world immigrant. My moral crown was quite large. I thought smugly that If an American was having his wages impacted by a stupid non American immigrant, it just reflected poorly on the American

    in time, I came to realize how bigoted such an opinion was and how insensitive it was to dismiss the difficulties of millions of Americans that were the working poor with little education forced to compete with endless waves of immigration.

    As I changed my opinion over time from reading and educating myself on the issue, I learned a valuable lesson. few people are truly evil or bad. The person I used to be was the same person, I just learned new facts. if a person thinks we should have endless immigration and open borders, he is not an evil person for that position, as it will change in time. it did for me.

    what baffles me about gays and immigration is I see so little benefits from it for them.

    I have looked at every single group, and there are many and they are quite powerful, and they all have a reason to want endless immigration and no real enforcement. immigration is not what you think, it is about profit, power or punishment. I am confused how gays would benefit from any of those benefits.

    Ethnic advocates like la raza and my party, the democrats gain political power from immigration, the GOP cheap labor lobby gets business profit, most church leaders get more empty pews filled, academics like immigration for the full tuition foreign students pay to them, the media is 90% liberal and democrats so is in a herd mentality, then we have those that get to wear a moral crown like I used to do by caring more for the ‘others’ while ignoring the millions of working poor here now. the open border anti American globalists get to see a dumbed down electorate easily led and duped. Some, like the labor party in the UK actually used immigration to “punish” the conservative party. Every pro endless immigration group benefits in some major way, even if it is a suicidal short term benefit.. I do not think the payoff for gays is worth the risk having seen what has happened in many formerly gay friendly nations in Europe.

    I am still baffled.

    So this is a very long answer. sorry for that.

    I just know after looking at the facts that I agree with the 1995 Jordan commission which found we would be better off with a reduction in legal immigration and an elimination of illegal immigration via enforcement of our laws and ending the job and benefit magnet.

    You can read more on the Jordan commission at numbersusa if you are interested. Good luck in your diversity future.

  22. karmanot says:


  23. karmanot says:

    Dems aren’t scared. They just don’t give a damn about gays in general. It’s the Clinton Syndrome all over again.

  24. BeccaM says:

    Reminds me of the stories when red-blooded Amurkins banded together to keep out and keep down my own ancestors, because my forebears destroyed communities, our race was intrinsically bad, criminally inclined, and we just didn’t fit in.

    Those ancestors? The Irish.

  25. karmanot says:

    All fingers point back to Obama, a lier who makes Chuck Schumer look like an amateur.

  26. karmanot says:


  27. karmanot says:


  28. karmanot says:

    They could care less Becca. It’s time to primary destroy every Obot Democrat running in 14, and do so by any means possible. Maybe Karl Rove’s available….oh, the irony.

  29. BemInBoston says:

    I’m part of a binational couple. They could give a shit. Schumer’s “heard our stories” and “supports” us. He’s not scared of us, though, and it’s tough to be as effective as say, all gays who’ve been in the military. A lot of binational couples are avoiding the spotlight for fear of deportation, etc.

  30. BemInBoston says:

    Very true.

  31. karmanot says:

    The only point Delmar has is on the top of his bigoted head.

  32. karmanot says:


  33. karmanot says:

    “discovered that diversity is not the strength it is claimed to be, but
    in effect destroys the social capital of communities when compared to
    more homogenous communities regardless of ethnicities” Ah, there it is, buried in the flower bed of rationalization —a pile of racist shit. In CA we have heard for years the braying of those who have made it, slam the doors on those you still yearn to migrate to this country..Delmar Jackson is yet another racist sophist.

  34. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Because it is irrelevant. What would be relevant would be polls of the undocumented population. I haven’t seen any of those.

  35. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I’m aware that those groups issued abstract statements of support months ago.

    Where is their ACTION? Issuing statements is all the White House and Harry Reid are doing too. It’s all posturing. Let me know when La Raza fights to block a gay-exclusionary bill. Not gonna happen.

  36. karmanot says:

    “I get it. Because they both have brown skin.” Yep, by that standard John Boehner who has dark orange skin must be a Manchurian Muslim.

  37. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Dan Choi didn’t wait for HRC to decide to have public protests. You have to bypass the institutional gay groups, who take their marching orders from the same homophobic Democratic strategists who have ordered binational couples cut from the bill.

  38. karmanot says:

    Well Delmar, consider this: What is the sound of one finger standing alone in the immigrant forest?

  39. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Adding numbers to a rally for general immigration reform will only bolster the momentum of the antigay bill.

  40. karmanot says:

    “Chuck Schumer is a liar,” Amen to that.

  41. BeccaM says:

    You right, and no, Schumer isn’t up for reelection for four years. But the entire Democratic membership of the house is, and so is 1/3 of the Senate. There’s lots of hell available for raising.

    If anything, I’d turn their accusations right around. They blamed LGBTs in part for the 2010 mid-terms — even though our lack of turnout was a miniscule 0.23% compared to the mainstream Dems who essentially said, “fuck it, we got fooled again by pretty words.” Tell them, “You want to lose in 2014? Forget your base. Want to win? Remember whose votes you need. If you don’t give us concrete reasons to vote for you and think we’ll be forever fooled by phony campaign promises, think again.”

    Anyone reading this post who happens to be part of a bi-national couple or family being barred immigration rights due to DOMA, I urge you to send copies of family photos to the offices of the above-named Democratic Senators. Ask them why the hell they want to force you to choose between America and your family. Demand to know why they think there is anything moral in supporting the hateful status quo.

  42. FLL says:

    “It is foolishness to think we should just wait for a more opportune moment”

    The moment is now. Throw the kitchen sink at it. If the bill is untenable, raise holy hell until Congress gives up and starts over from the beginning. Get the faces of same-sex binational couples plastered all over the mainstream media. It worked before a couple years ago and it can work again.

    Unfortunately, Chuck Schumer isn’t up for reelection until 2016. I doubt he could survive a primary challenge after this piece of treachery on his part.

  43. DelmarJackson says:

    Are you assuming citizens that want to see a reduction in immigration are anti immigrant?

    if you are, you are buying in to the demonization of those citizens that have been merely calling for a reduction in immigration and enforcement of our laws for decades. Many of them are immigrants themselves.

    There are facts for the reasons I want to see less immigration. I would be interested to see the facts why you think we should never enforce any immigration laws or cause anyone who has no documents to ever leave, or have an immigration policy that benefits its citizens more than it benefits the immigrants. why do you think it is right to see the wages of the working poor depressed for decades, or to see our country grow to a half a billion in a few decades just to please open border cheap labor lobby zealots?

    here is my reasoning for wanting less immigration and enforcement of our laws. Our current immigration causes economic, social and environmental costs to our communities. The people that hire immigrants and the immigrants themselves profit, while the rest of us pay the costs. My facts on the economic issues of immigration come from the studies of professor Borjas of Harvard, who has made his life work studying the effects of immigration and labor on the economy. You can see his work on his website. The media never mentions his work as it differs from their universal narrative on immigration, which is all immigration and all immigrants are good, thus all who want a reduction in immigration are evil.

    my concerns of the social costs of immigration come in part from the works of sociologist Robert Putnam. he studied many communities over many years, and discovered that diversity is not the strength it is claimed to be, but in effect destroys the social capital of communities when compared to more homogenous communities regardless of ethnicities. People in diverse communities withdraw, do not trust one another and do not contribute to civic responsibilities compared to the homogenous communities. He was dismayed by his findings and delayed publishing the for 5 years while trying to come up with alternate answers.

    You can read his work yourself.

    the third issue which I hardly need to provide any facts, is the environmental costs to our environment from massive immigration, and is the main reason I got involved in the issue. I am a democrat and liberal on many issues and once belonged to the Sierra Club.

    Do any of you realize the Sierra Club was paid 100 million dollars by an open border Globalist pro immigration zealot on the condition they never talk about immigration and its effect on our environment? if you do not believe me the facts are readily available in Google, you just will never see any mention by the biased media.

    To critics who say I am against endless immigration because I hate brown people, I can only say I have brown people in my family and am a poor working person that sees the effect of massive immigration personally on a constant basis.. I know more than most the employment rate of “brown” people caused by endless floods of cheap compliant labor to please the cheap labor lobby.

    Finally, if you think the current wave of immigration in most western countries is a good thing for gays as they are more gay friendly than the native population, well good luck with that.

  44. BeccaM says:

    This is exactly what I meant when I said yesterday we cannot go counting our ‘gay rights’ chickens, just because there is increased public support for our causes — bi-national immigration, marriage equality, adoption, workplace and housing, and so on.

    Because even our supposed allies won’t push to help us secure our fundamental rights because it’s the right and just thing to do. No, we’re nothing more than a bargaining chip to be tossed away even before the game begins. Or to switch metaphors, after much hoorah about how wonderful it’ll be to be in the bus for a change, they’re already pre-positioning us in our accustomed place under it.

    It is foolishness to think we should just wait for a more opportune moment, and we should never believe them if they try to claim that immigration rights for gay couples can or will be amended in later. Or a law passed some day down the road.

  45. BemInBoston says:

    Our great ally, Rep. Nadler is speaking out about this.

  46. BemInBoston says:

    How do we get on the media? I’ve written to John here (very appreciative of the coverage), Julia Preston at the New York Times, Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed — I love Immigration Equality, but they still seem to be in “playing nice” mode, scheduling a lobbying day on the Hill in a couple of weeks. We should be scheduling a sit in in Schumer’s office!

  47. Els says:

    So let’s twitter-bomb these assholes! @chuckschumer @SenatorDurbin @SenatorMenendez @SenBennetCO

  48. amos lim says:

    This is wrong for them to exclude us but not unexpected since LGBT Families have been left out of their initial framework. We need to fight like hell to make sure they get the message loud and clear that excluding us is the wrong thing to do.

    A lot of grassroots organizations have been highlighting stories of binational couples and their struggles, please help us share those stories! Help us fight for our inclusion in CIR!

    There are also events happening across the country in addition to DC Lobby Day for CIR tomorrow, I urge everyone to stand up and demand that we be included.
    For the list of events:

    There will be a huge rally/march in San Francisco organized by San Francisco Bay for Immigrant Justice tomorrow too and they are also demanding that LGBT Families be included in CIR… It would be nice to have a big LGBT turnout! Info about the rally/march is

  49. Indigo says:

    I fixed it. Thanks.

  50. Drew2u says:

    It happens to me all the time, I continually have to log in to Disqus whenever I want to comment (which, being so opinionated, means logging in a lot!)

  51. FLL says:

    Four years is also plenty of time for GetEQUAL and other direct-action groups, like Immigration Equality, to dominate the headlines, as they did when same-sex binational couples were on the verge of being deported a couple years ago. (I remember those deportation decisions being put on hold.) Four years is plenty of time for all sorts of strategies. Send your money to GetEQUAL and Immigration Equality, should it become necessary.

  52. FLL says:

    My criticism of DelmarJackson was that his hostility toward two groups with opposite views on gay rights was based on the fact that they both have brown skin. Every poll ever taken attests to the fact that Hispanics in general and Mexican-Americans in particular support gay rights to a greater extent than the American public as a whole. How could you possibly ignore a mountain of data like that?

  53. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Don’t be fooled. The White House’s public talk about gay-inclusion is insincere posturing. I’ve seen no evidence that the President is doing anything to get gay couples included in this bill. The same goes for Harry Reid, who also spewed some happy talk about wanting gay-inclusion in the bill.

    It’s all a kabuki dance. The Dems will pretend that they want gay-inclusion. They’ll have some votes on amendments and most of them will be able to vote for it, but they will make sure that there are always just enough no votes to keep gays out of the bill. Then the Dems will prance about expressing patronizing regret that it “just wasn’t possible” while proclaiming how much they love the gays and wanted the amendment and quickly pivoting to how things would be so much better if they just had even more gay money in their campaign coffers. Ignore it all. The decision has been made, and the White House and Harry Reid are fully on board with it. Political homophobia still permeates the Democratic Party. We’re still toxic to them. They could get a gay-inclusive bill, just as they got gay-inclusive VAWA. But they prefer to toss the gays overboard. So what if some faggots’ marriages get ripped apart by deportation!

    Also fully on board with it are the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Latino groups. They’ll maybe cry some crocodile tears for you and then gleefully celebrate passage of their antigay bill. Then the deportations of foreign gay spouses will ramp up under the new draconian enforcement regime enacted by Democrats and supported by progressive Latino groups. DOMA all over again.

    Oh, and, of course, if we don’t all join in celebrating the mass deportation of foreign gay spouses, we’ll be viciously attacked as “selfish”–again. It’s right out of the Democratic Party’s antigay playbook.

  54. FLL says:

    So far, the two major Latino groups, the National Council of La Raza and League of United Latin American Citizens, as well as the Hispanic Congressional Caucus has supported including gay couples in immigration reform. From NBC News (2 days ago):

    Although many Latino groups heavily involved in the immigration reform movement — including the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Council de la Raza and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — have offered support for the inclusion of LGBT protections in any final legislation, there’s opposition within the Latino community as well as from outside groups.

    So far so good, concerning the Latino advocacy groups. The “outside groups” that the NBC article mentions are, of course, Marco Rubio (and his Republicans) and the small percentage of Hispanic evangelical Protestants. The fact that such a small percentage of Hispanics are evangelical accounts for the generally pro-gay attitudes among Hispanics in virtually every poll ever taken.

  55. Naja pallida says:

    Oh, I get how it works… and maybe it’s just because Schumer likes to be on television so much that it makes it easy to pinpoint his lies, when other politicians – many of whom share a similar level of fecklessness – don’t seem so blatant about it. It’s just annoying that the left is so vocal about claiming Schumer as an ally when, at best, he’s that “friend” who only invites you to the party when you accidentally overhear him inviting someone he really likes.

  56. FLL says:

    Obama just got reelected, so he and the Congress have got four more years to hash out a fair immigration reform bill. What’s the rush? If the present bill is useless, the White House and Hispanic lobby groups should withdraw support. Throw the old bill out and start again. If Lindsey Graham and Chuck Schumer think that they are the Lord of Creation or perhaps Queen of the Universe, someone needs to disabuse them of that notion. Four years is plenty of time to come up with a fair, inclusive immigration reform bill.

  57. Skeptical Cicada says:


  58. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I’m not convinced the undocumented crowd does either. He has a point worth listening to, even if you have to sift through some anti-immigrant rhetoric to find it.

  59. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Schumer has always been an untrustworthy pig on gay issues.

    Yes, time for some binational gay couples to hit the media and embarrass some Democratic cowards.

  60. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Listen to the silence from the Latino groups as binational gay couples are tossed under the bus. And listen to the gay community respond by opposing straights-only immigration reform.

    Do you have polling data on the pro-gay views of undocumented immigrants? Before attacking the commenter, how about some data?

  61. Exactly. There’s a reason that Latinos vote Democratic, and it’s not because they’re intolerant nuts – the intolerant nuts are few, and they vote Republican, in addition to not knowing the age of the earth.

  62. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Don’t hold your breath. The silence from Rep. Luis Gutierrez says it all. He will gleefully support a bigoted bill and cry staged tears when gay spouses get forcibly separated and deported under the bill’s strict enforcement provisions.

  63. Schumer is a politician. And generally speaking, they don’t do things to be “nice.” They do things because they’re afraid of you. There’s a reason folks handcuffed themselves to the White House fence, and it wasn’t in order to play “nice.” :) And it worked.

  64. Skeptical Cicada says:

    We should aggressively oppose it. Because it will include draconian new enforcement, it will make things much worse for binational gay couples. Without addressing their situation, the bill’s enforcement provisions constitute an attack on binational gay couples.

  65. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I agree with John’s take entirely. Another unnecessary betrayal by the political homophobes who run the Democratic Party. The bill is not going to be amended, so the bill must be blocked.

  66. Bill_Perdue says:

    Obama is deporting immigrant and imported workers at a record pace, tearing families, including gay families apart and denying them medical care. Those, like his rabid attacks on Arab and muslim nations to steal resources are racist policies.

    Obama Deportation Toll Could Pass 2 Million At Current Rates “WASHINGTON — As lawmakers debate the Obama administration’s commitment to immigration enforcement, a report released last week shows that 2 million people will be deported by 2014 — more than the total number of deportations before 1997 — if they continue at the current rate. Tanya Golash-Boza, an associate professor of sociology at University of California-Merced, found that interior immigration enforcement has expanded rapidly as border-crossings have slowed down, leading to more families being separated by deportation ”

    The ‘immigration reform’ bill sponsored by Obama and the gang of 8 is as misnamed as Obama’s ‘health care reform’. That was a bill to make HMO’s, insurance companies and Big Pharma rich at our expense.

    Obama’s ‘immigration reform’ bill is designed to create an underclass of ‘documented’ without rights who can be superexploited. It provides for years of documented servitude, paying fines and back taxes and learning English.

    are workers and they are not illegal. They are entitled to immediate amnesty and citizenship including the right to dual citizenship and the right to join or form trade unions.

  67. Naja pallida says:

    Just like when he promised a public option in the ACA?

    Or when he promised Senate Democrats wouldn’t negotiate on the debt ceiling?

    Or how about when he promised they would reform the filibuster?

    We can even go back as far as him voting for the creation of the DHS and voting for the Patriot Act, twice.

    Chuck Schumer is a liar, and loves the sound of his own voice on television, but rarely backs it up with real meaningful legislative action. On most important progressive issues, as soon as there are signs of the tide turning against him, he jumps ship from his previous position and jumps on board with whatever way he sees the wind blowing. Which is usually the half-assed, weak-kneed proposal that Harry Reid has come up with to coax a few votes out of conservative Democrats. We’re seeing it all over again with gun control and now the immigration bill.

  68. Carlton says:

    Good reporting. So why should we support the bill – nothing in it for us.

  69. That’s true. It will be interesting to see if the lead immigration groups speak out loudly today about gays being cut out of the “gay” immigration bill.

  70. FLL says:

    You’re dead wrong. Hispanics are the single most supportive group of any demographic in the country. Check any poll. I dare you. The anti-immigrant crowd, on the other hand, are dominated by evangelical Christians from the Deep South. You’ve got the dynamic completely upside down. I’m afraid I’ll have to give you a failing grade for critical thinking.

  71. FLL says:

    The one thing that would frighten Republicans into accepting inclusive immigration reform is if major Latino/Hispanic groups were loudly supportive of gay-inclusive reform. Luckily, Hispanics are the single demographic in the entire country most supportive of gay rights. I think they might even edge out American Jews in that category, which would be a first. Lucky. Very lucky.

  72. Want to email me the problem so I can forward it to disqus?

  73. Folks need to lose it with Schumer if they want this in.

  74. Somehow I’m not convinced that the anti-immigrant crowd loves the gay.

  75. They need twisting now because it is VERY hard to add something like this by amendment. You need it in the original bill. And Republicans are desperate for immigration reform, after the 2012 election results. They’re not going to want to kill it over this.

  76. FLL says:

    Obama’s immigration reform proposal in January included same-sex binational couples; the immigration proposal of the so-called Gang of 8 bipartisan group of U.S. senators did not. This issue is where activism operates most effectively. Over the past few years, I clearly remember same-sex binational couples whose faces and stories were splashed all over the mainstream media—for days, and sometimes weeks on end. The mainstream media just ate it up. Direct action activism and protests also played a useful part. This issue is very winnable. Put the faces of same-sex binational couples in front of the nation and they will win.

    The Gang of 8 are: Rubio (R-Fla), Flake (R-Ariz), McCain (R-Ariz), Graham (R-S.C.), Durban (D-Ill), Menendez (D-N.J.), Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bennet (D-Colo). For what ever reason, Obama supports inclusive immigration reform. The 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats of the Gang of 8, for whatever reason, cannot yet agree with Obama’s proposal. I’m sure the Gang of 8 can have their arms twisted. Every little bit helps: the White House, the mainstream media, the progressive and gay media, direct action groups, protest… everything helps.

  77. Schumer lied.

    And playing nice never works. We got DADT because Dan Choi handcuffed himself to the White House fence (among other reasons, but Dan was a key part). Nice guys finish last in politics.

  78. samizdat says:

    RealPolitik for the twenty-first century.

  79. BemInBoston says:

    And bullies only back down when you punch them in the nose. It’s time to elect some Dems who are Dems. Schumer is no better than Manchin, Pryor, and Landrieu — he’s worse — he claims to be an ally but stabbed us in the back.

  80. BemInBoston says:

    This is really heartbreaking. My husband is a Thai citizen and we’ve been together for nearly six years, yet I have no right to sponsor him for a green card (like I could if he were straight). This shit has got to stop. I’m an American. I pay my taxes, a lot of them. I’ve served our country overseas (four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in two countries). We’re good neighbors. We work hard. And oh yeah, it’s 2013, not 1993!

    This is political homophobia, pure and simple. Let’s name some names of the Democrats who left some bus marks on my and my husband’s backs last night when for “expediency” they decided it was wiser to align with Senators Rubio, McCain, et al, than to actually have the balls to stand up for lgbt folks for whom they claim deserve equality.

    Senator Schumer (D NY) has been promising for at least 3 years that binational couples must be included in “comprehensive” immigration reform. He ditched us. Senators Bennet (D CO), Menendez (D NJ), and Durbin (D IL) joined him. Gays and immigrants are part of the fabric of this country. We can do better than this. We expect our allies to take actions that do not harm us. And we can force them to do it — Republicans need this bill more than Democrats do. Republicans swallowed an lgbt-inclusive reauthorizaiton of the Violence Against Women Act because they were forced to. Dems — and national immigration allies — should tell them it’s a new world and gay people will be treated equally in every piece of legislation that goes through.

    Playing nice on this issue has not worked. Again. Just like DADT would still be around if we hadn’t gotten in Obama’s grill at every fundraiser he attended (and the work of Dan Choi and GetEqual chaining themselves to the White House). Obama wouldn’t have come out for marriage equality if, in part, he didn’t fear getting heckled at every event he attended. This one’s a bit harder because there are only about 40,000 binational couples in the United States. But if you claim to be for equality — Schumer, Durbin, Bennet, Menendez — you will be judged for your actions, not your meaningless words.

    This will not stand. This is straights-only legislation that may have some positive side effects for gay folks. This is not comprehensive immigration form. In summary, this is bullshit and needs to be fixed.

  81. mark_in_toronto says:

    YOU need to educate yourself first.

    Ever heard of Canada? Ever heard of New Zealand . . . Spain . . . Australia? There are probably a few more, but these countries offer open immigration to ALL who want it and of course, meet certain minimum requirements. I don’t see the sky falling for gay people in those places.

    The population of Toronto alone would put ANY U.S. dreams of “diversity” to shame. With mostly 3rd world immigrants, gay marriage, gay adoption and well-enforced discrimination laws, it’s working quite well. That’s why I immigrated here with my non-American partner.

    ” . . . most gay-friendly . . .”? The U.S. government discriminates against a minority of it’s citizens because of the religious beliefs of another minority. I’d hardly call that friendly . . . more 3rd world . . . maybe even mid-evil.

    Finally, the U.S. already has several political asylum cases pending that involve international gay couples (I personally know 4 of them). This is nothing new and certainly not uncharted territory.

  82. DN says:

    I was at NOM’s rally two weeks ago, and The Heritage Foundation was handing out a flyer on anti-gay marriage talking points. One of them was that Edie Windsor’s situation would never have been a problem if the country had simply repealed the Estate Tax; each of the federal rights that gays don’t enjoy can be addressed individually.

    Well, UAFA has been around since the year 2000, and it has never gone anywhere. Yes, Heritage Foundation, we *can* fix these 1,138 issues individually. But the fact that UAFA never goes *anywhere* is a solid demonstration that you *don’t* actually want to fix the issues.

    I’m a gay immigrant, and while this doesn’t affect me anymore (I have an employment-based green card), it still bothers me that my coworker down the hall, who came from the same city as me, got his green card years before me – because he’s into girls.

  83. Drew2u says:

    But, ya know, “Gay Marriage Has Won”.
    Sorta why I was worried nothing was talked about binational gay couples during the DOMA hearing.

  84. DelmarJackson says:

    The support of another amnesty by gays is unwise in the long run. The current USA population is one of the most gay friendly on the planet. However, the massive 3rd world immigration currently being added to America are many times more anti gay than the native population. Other than African Americans specifically, and all working poor in general, few groups will suffer more from the millions of immigrants the next amnesty will provide than the gay population.
    Finally, the support by gays of another amnesty will not be forgotten by those who are fighting to reduce immigration. good luck in your Diversity wonderland future.
    You need to educate yourself as to the plight of gays in once tolerant places in Europe like France and the Netherlands to see what happens to gays in the new multicultural communities populated by 3rd world immigrants.

  85. caphillprof says:

    At this point, cutting the gays out of any bill is a form of bullying by the Repubs and the vewy scared Democrats.

  86. Indigo says:

    Doggone Disqus(t) deactivated me and no, it wasn’t my browser. I checked on that.

  87. Indigo says:

    Because segregation is subtle and very far from over

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