Sunday, February 03, 2013

Same Sex Marriage Figures in Immigration Debate

One of the aspects of the debate surrounding immigration reform is the plight of same sex couples legally married in U.S. jurisdictions that allow such marriages and the growing number of foreign nations that similarly allow full same sex marriage.  Historically, with few exceptions in heterosexual marriages foreign citizens married to U.S. citizens can easily secure U.S. residency.  Because of DOMA, same sex couples do not have the ability to easily secure permanent residency for the lawful spouses and many face the prospect of having to leave America in order to stay together as a couple.  An article in the Washington Post looks at the immigration law reforms that would end this deliberate anti-gay discrimination.  As one might expect, the hate filled Christofascists seek to defeat provisions that would aid same sex couples since their sole mission in life seems to be making life for gays a living Hell and punishing us for not subscribing to their poisonous form of religion. Here are highlights:

In his final legislative act as a senator, Secretary of State John F. Kerry sought to resolve an international dilemma. He filed Senate Bill 48, seeking “permanent resident status for Genesio Januario Oliveira,” a gay Brazilian national facing deportation because he does not qualify for a spousal visa.

Now, President Obama is aiming to grant same-sex couples such as Oliveira and his American husband, Tim Coco, equal immigration rights as their heterosexual counterparts. The proposal could allow up to 40,000 foreign nationals in same-sex relationships to apply for legal residency and, potentially, U.S. citizenship.

But the measure has inspired fierce pushback from congressional Republicans and some religious groups, who say it could sink hopes for a comprehensive agreement aimed at providing a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The standoff may force Obama to choose between two key interest groups — Hispanics and gays — that helped power his reelection in the fall. The president must weigh how forcefully to push the bill, known as the Uniting American Families Act, while not endangering a long-sought deal to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants, most of whom are Latino.

Christian groups that have supported the White House’s immigration push have objected to the measure on the grounds that it would erode traditional marriage.

“The president in his plan said that you should treat same-sex families the same way we treat heterosexual families,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Friday on “Political Capital With Al Hunt.” “It’s wrong to discriminate. It’s a natural extension of the president’s view about same-sex marriage, the view about providing equal rights, no matter who you love.”

But congressional Republicans immediately condemned the idea and warned that the measure imperils broader immigration reform. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the senators on the eight-member bipartisan working group on immigration, said at a Politico breakfast last week that injecting social issues into the debate over immigration legislation “is the best way to derail it.”

A coalition of religious groups — including Roman Catholics, evangelicals and Southern Baptists — delivered a letter to the White House last week opposing the same-sex measure.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of same-sex couples wait in limbo. Although the Obama administration has been using its prosecutorial discretion to avoid deporting partners who are illegally in the country, many couples say uncertainty makes it impossible to plan for the long term.  “It’s on our mind every day,” said Coco, who has been married to Oliveira since 2005 and lives in Haverhill, Mass. “We’re always worried about our future.”
In the meantime, the Supreme Court is reviewing the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that mandates marriage benefits only for heterosexual couples. Some gay rights advocates said that if the court strikes down the law, perhaps as early as June, the question of a same-sex provision in immigration law could be rendered irrelevant.

Hate, bigotry and discrimination: the three pillars of today's Christianity.  No wonder the younger generations are leaving it in droves.

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