Senator Patrick Leahy - a politician with courage.
Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an immigration bill that will be sent to the full Senate for debate and a vote, after which it will be sent to the House of Representatives. This committee is comprised of 9 Democrats and 8 Republicans with Democratic Patrick Leahy serving as Chairman. One very contentious amendment to the bill, offered by Sen. Leahy, is to allow American citizens to sponsor their foreign born same sex spouses or partners for a Green Card. This was rejected with the full support of some of the Democratic Senators.
Heterosexual American citizens are allowed to sponsor their foreign born spouses, partners and fiancees, for a Green Card. Sen Leahy has been a staunch supporter of the inclusion of same sex partners. Senator Schumer of New York was on the fence, but was known to have promised an American member of a bi-national couple that she would be taken care of. She was. He through her and all of the bi-national couples under the bus. Joining this coward were two other Democrats, Sen. Feinstein and Sen Durbin. The reason they stuck their tails between their legs and ran was that they were afraid the Republicans would not support the entire immigration bill.
These Democrats, beside proving they can't be trusted, presented the Republicans with a way to freely and legally discriminate against gay American citizens. They gave the Republicans the right to pick and choose who are allowed to have immigration rights and who are not. Only Sen. Leahy had the courage and intestinal fortitude to fight for what he believed and for the rights of thousands of American citizens.
Republicans are known bigots and are fighting any kind of immigration bill with rare tenacity. Only because they lost the minority vote in the last election are they willing to consider an immigration bill at all. Naturally the strongest opposition to any immigration reform and especially granting gays any rights, come from Southern politicians with solid right wing, Conservative Christian hate groups support. We haven't seen this much strong opposition since the Civil Rights laws were opposed by Southern members of Congress.
When this bill goes to the full Senate and then the full House amendments will again be introduced to include the rights of American citizens of a bi-national couple. With a majority of the House being Republican I am sure this will never happen. It is very doubtful that any decent, fare and honest immigration bill will be passed. To be fare not all Republicans are bigots and racists, but unfortunately the majority of Republican members of Congress are.
I never really held out much hope for any legislation granting equal rights for ALL Americans, including gays and immigrants, to be passed by a Republican controlled House of Representatives. This does, however, teach those of us who support LGBT rights just exactly who we can trust and believe. It's time to take another look at people like Schumer and Feinstein and decide if they deserve our support in the next primary election. Maybe it's time to shelve Schumer and the others. Hopefully this situation may be made redundant depending upon how the Supreme Court acts in deciding DOMA.
A cowardly politician.