Immigration advocates to gays: We’re just not that into you

I can’t shake the feeling that the gay community is about to be bait-and-switched by immigration advocates.

There is now open talk of throwing gay binational couples under the immigration reform bus in order to “save” immigration reform for Latinos and a small percentage of Asians.

You see, gays are just too controversial – they give politicians cooties. So, it’s best not to touch our issues in immigration reform.  Though immigration groups are still happy to ask gay rights groups and advocates to spend their money, time, and political chits helping to pass legislation that specifically excludes us, as a gesture of “solidarity.”  Solidarity with people who may be ready to throw us under a bus.

An interesting definition of solidarity.

Gay rights are immigration rights!

I started getting the feeling that something was amiss several months ago, when a clearly-coordinated chorus of “gay rights are immigration rights, and immigration rights are gay rights!” erupted from a number of blogs and organizations, at the same time the national gay rights groups suddenly became the biggest-supporters-ever of immigration reform.

It just struck me as odd, that out of nowhere, in concert, a small chorus of everyone had suddenly decided that immigration reform was the GAYEST THING EVER, even though it didn’t include the one immigration provision that gay advocates had been pushing for years.

Gay groups have been bought off before

It got me wondering if the large gay groups hadn’t been yet again bought off by a large donor, in this case one that gives immigration grants.  It’s happened before to both GLAAD and NLGTF.  And it also got me worrying that immigration groups had perhaps too-well copied the successful strategies and tactics that gay rights advocates had used to pressure the Obama administration and Congress into action these past few years.  But rather than simply copying our strategies and tactics, I started wondering if immigration advocates had instead stolen our mantle, but dropped our substance.

It was a difficult notion to dispel.  A lead DREAM activist recent takes over one of the lead gay grassroots groups at the same time a unified chorus starts claiming, out of nowhere, with no real scientific substantiation, that immigration reform will help nearly a quarter of a million gay people.

The magical 267,000 and the magical immigration donor

If you wondered how they came up with this magical number of gay people helped by immigration reform, you’re not alone.  In short, there is no real data.  It’s a guess.  An educated one, but still a guess. (And, imagine that – the “institute” that just came up with this magical number of gay undocumented immigrants has received funding from the same immigration donor, Haas, as the top gay groups who also only recently, and magically, became emphatic supporters of immigration reform.)

At its core, they started with polls showing the percent of LGBT people in the American population and then extrapolated out to immigrants, with a few adjustments.  So since there are around 3% gay, bi, lesbian and trans people in the US, by some conservative polls, there must be the same number among undocumented immigrants.

Uh, maybe.  Maybe not.  Even the institute that came up with the number admits, “data that directly assess the number of these undocumented immigrants who identify as LGBT do not exist.”

Are the Bush tax cuts now “gay”?

But let’s pretend for a moment that the numbers do exist, and are correct. And that, in essence, gays are represented in undocumented immigration populations in the same proportion that they are represented in American society at large (a pretty mighty assumption).  Does that make immigration reform gay?

As much as it makes the Bush tax cuts “gay” since 3% of US taxpayers are likely LGBT.

It’s a safe bet that pretty much every piece of legislation affecting Americans will affect gay Americans too.  Tax cuts? Gay. Entitlement reform? Gay. Sequester?  Gay. National Ice Cream day? Really gay.

Less gay is more, losing is winning

But there’s something far more troubling than simply watering down what it means for legislation to be “gay.”  This new, all-encompassing definition of “gay” – i.e., any legislation that impacts gay Americans to the same percentage, or more, than they exist in the US population at large – is being used to actually make legislation LESS gay.

Think about it.  If immigration reform is “already” gay because it allegedly helps a quarter of a million gay undocumented immigrants, then how much of the gayness of bill is diminished by chucking 28,500 binational gay couples?  That’s still another quarter of a million gays being helped, so whoopee, we won!

Let me walk you through this, because it really is ingenious – evil ingenious, but ingenious nonethless.

1. Gay groups for years have been fighting to pass immigration reform legislation, called UAFA, that would help 28,500 binational couples, where one partner is American and the other is not, thus the non-American partner is not permitted to stay in the US as even if they get “married” it’s not recognized by the federal government.

2. Now, suddenly, we’re told that immigration reform might not only help 28,500 gays, it will help an additional 267,000 gays.  Wow, that’s even better – it’s ten times better!

3. But, oh – wait a minute.  There’s a bit of a glitch.  You see, we need to drop the 28,500 gays because they’re too toxic, and they make the Republicans cry.  But hey, no harm no foul, we’ve still got 267,000 gays being helped by the bill, nearly ten times the number of gays being dropped.  So that’s still pretty darn good, right?

Well, it depends how you define “good.”

Up until a few months ago, “the” gay immigration goal was to pass UAFA, helping the 28,500 binational couples.  But now, we’re currently heading in the direction of UAFA being toast, along with the 28,500 couples it’s intended to help.

So, while immigration advocates are suddenly claiming that immigration reform is gayer-than-ever, even without UAFA, in fact, we are about to lose everything we’ve been fighting for, as gay rights advocates, in this legislation.  But, by moving the goal posts, suddenly a 100% loss becomes a 90% victory!

What precedent are we setting for future gay rights victories, and losses?

If I were suspicious by nature, I’d almost think that this effort to claim that a quarter of a million gays were being helped by immigration reform was planned in order to provide cover for dropping gays from immigration reform.

And if that happens, what other pieces of legislation will gays now be cut from, only to be told that our defeat is actually our biggest victory ever because 3% of those being helped in the bill are still LGBT?  It’s really quite a nefarious precedent.

But it’s even worse than that.  Gays are now being told that if they don’t back down, if they don’t give up on their efforts to include UAFA in immigration reform, it will be our fault that immigration reform fails. How so?  Because Marco Rubio and the Republicans hate gays so much, they’ve told Democrats they’ll just kill the bill if it’s truly comprehensive reform that helps all Americans, including gay Americans.

Marco Rubio needs us more than we need him

To the suggestion that Marco Rubio will kill immigration reform if the gay is permitted in, I say, yeah right.  The Republicans are desperate for an immigration reform bill, as they’ve only recently come to realize that they’ve so ticked off Latinos – a huge and growing voting bloc – that if they don’t pass immigration reform, they may never win the White House again.

So, when you hear a Republican say “we’ll just kill immigration reform,” keep in mind why they came to the table in the first place.  Because they’re in an electoral panic. From Jonathan Rauch writing in the Daily Beast:

Really? Republicans will deep-six the entire effort and demolish themselves with Latino voters, business interests, and young people to prevent gay people from having someone to take care of them?…

Gay-rights advocates are correct to force the issue by demanding an amendment adding partner immigration to the reform bill now moving through the Senate. They are right to expect their Democratic friends, including President Obama, to support the effort and thereby to force Republicans to announce their priorities. Just how much electoral support and moral standing does the GOP want to give up to affirm its hostility to homosexuals? The results would be, let us say, clarifying.

Not the least of the panicked is Marco Rubio himself.  Rubio wants to be president in 2016, and he’s looking for a way to convince America’s largely-Democratic Latino voters that supporting a far-right Republican is actually in their interest. Rubio needs immigration reform more than all of the Republicans put together.

KISS ME!  I’m a diseased pariah!

diseased-pariah-aids

A famous AIDS button from the late 80s, early 90s. My friend Paul Clark had a t-shirt with this design that he used to love wearing in Billings, MT in 1991. Paul got a chuckle out of people complementing him on his “Mickey Mouse” shirt without having a clue what it actually meant.

There’s a second nefarious precedent being set by immigration advocates, Democrats, and gay groups who are all, I fear, silently on board with this strategy of throwing UAFA overboard.  They are accepting the Republican charge that gays are toxic, that our issues are too controversial, that America isn’t yet ready for our civil rights and our full equality, and worse, that our allies and elected officials – and our very civil rights groups – aren’t ready either.

If we “take one for the team” (a team, mind you, that doesn’t seem terribly interested in taking one for us) and kill UAFA in order to appease GOP hostage-takers, where will it end?

Are Republicans going to be less, or more, prone in the future to take yet another gay hostage, and another, and another, in order to force Democrats and the progressive-partner-of-the-day to throw us under the bus and further rupture the Democratic coalition that propelled Barack Obama to the presidency, twice?

If gay rights advocates accept the “fact” that we’re just too toxic for immigration reform, when will we ever not be toxic?

Not to mention, is the gay community really ready to accept in 2013 that we are still such political pariahs that our only option is to bow our heads in shame and slink to the back of class, lest our ickiness rub off on our friends?

This is a horrible precedent

I think this is a horrible precedent: Joining a coalition that doesn’t seem terribly interested in coalescing around you.  And worse yet, is outright redefining the definition of success in order to better cut you out of that success.  It’s political genius. But it’s not very gay.

I have no problem with Latinos trying to get legislation passed to permit their family and friends, who came to the US under less-than-optimal means, to stay (80% of undocumented immigrants in the US are Latin American, while 58%  alone are from Mexico).  I’ve even overlooked the fact that my foreign-national Latino friends, who came here legally – including a former flame who was a Colombian doctor doing cancer research at NIH, and even that couldn’t earn him permission to stay – didn’t get to remain in the US.

I have a harder time, however, overlooking the fact that I’m being asked to help on legislation that doesn’t help – can’t be bothered to help – me and mine.  And I’m particularly bothered by the fact that gay binational couples won’t benefit from this legislation because they made the “mistake” of coming to the US legally, and thinking that immigration reform would address their needs, when it increasingly looks like it will not, expressly because they’re “gay” and chose not to break the law.

Immigration advocates, Democrats, and gay rights groups had better hope that the Supreme Court overturns DOMA and “fixes” this problem (and there is no guarantee that will happen).  But in the mean time, if our groups and our allies capitulate to Marco Rubio’s political hostage-taking, the damage to the gay rights movement, and to relations with our progressive allies, will be harder to undo, regardless of what the Supreme Court finally decides.

UPDATE: Weak statement from the White House, which goes along with my entire point above. No one is going to fight for us.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • http://twitter.com/yurchie Denis Yurchikov

    Oops :) Thanks for the heads up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/madbrainDotCom Julien Pierre

    Yes, but it was a poor one, because legislators never had the balls to touch that other issue on their own.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    Duplicate comment deleted, frizbeesf.

  • http://funnyoddthing.blogspot.com frizbeesf

    I truly hope Leahy and Durbin call McCain and Graham’s bluff. Look at the actual math from the last two… heck.. the last 3 elections.. The Republicans will never win over Blacks, and Women, so they are desperate, yes… DESPERATE to have something they can show to Latinos and Asians and say “See! Look ! We really don’t hate you .. Honest Injun! Ooopps!…..er…. We mean… swear to Baby Jeebus!”

    So I say add the LGBT inclusion amendment, and let Senators Grandpa Simpson , Closet Case Smithers, Marco Watergate Rubio, hold their breath and stomp their widdle feet threatening to kill it, but watch them cave when it’s time to vote. NONE of these guys want to go back to their home states and have to admit they would rather hurt over 11 million Latinos and Asians than allow any help for 240,000 Gays. Good Luck with that guys!

  • Guest

    I truly hope Leahy and Durbin call the McCain and Graham’s bluff. Look at the actual math from the last two… heck.. the last 3 elections.. The Republicans will never win over Blacks, and Women, so they are desperate, yes… DESPERATE to have something they can show to Latinos and Asians and say “See! Look ! We really don’t hate you .. Honest Injun! Ooopps!…..er…. We mean… swear to Baby Jeebus!”

    So I say add the LGBT inclusion amendment, and let Senators Grandpa Simpson , Closet Case Smithers, Marco Watergate Rubio, hold their breath and stomp their widdle feet threatening to kill it, but watch them cave when it’s time to vote. NONE of these guys want to go back to their home states and have to admit they would rather hurt over 11 million Latinos and Asians than allow any help for 240,000 Gays. Good Luck with that guys!

  • http://funnyoddthing.blogspot.com frizbeesf

    LOL Denis that was not directed AT you .. I was saying you might need it to filter through the responses you get! :)

  • http://twitter.com/yurchie Denis Yurchikov

    How is that relevant to my comment? Time and time again, Obama has compromised instead of standing up for progressive values.

    I was agreeing with John.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maribel.hernandezgreen Maribel Hernandez-Green

    I would be speaking of the movement as a whole. not you personally. I also have been working for civil rights since the 60s but I was in fields with other farmworkers. Why is it necessary to attempt to slam body’s experience. I have seen more racism, sexism and homophobia in the gay community than anywhere else. That is my experience. If you were lucky enough to have a better experience then good for you. Shame on you for attempting to denigrate any experience that doesn’t match your own.

  • WarrenHart

    Wonder if John will update this story with President Obama’s latest comments? lol just kidding.

  • WarrenHart

    The only open talk about throwing gay bi national couples under the bus is what Republicans have said for instance when Marco Rubio said “If that issue is injected into this bill, this bill will fail. It will not have the support. It will not have my support.”.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Sweet pea, if that’s your experience you need to get your face of the road after the end of the parade has passed you by.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Honey, the Obozo’s have put so many in the back of the bus for future consideration it broke the axle.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    YEP!!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Indeed! Totally overlooks the ‘Bachmann factor.’

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Now, wait a minute, be fair — they’re not into anyone (of the 99%), except as political pawns….

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Using the Kinsey scale, how did we go from 25% to ten percent? :-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I like the image of Obozo as the The Marquis st. Evremonde of the Beltway.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Exactly. Obozo is beyond our wrath, but primary Demos must pay for these betrayals.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    —-Been saying this for ages to much derision: Obama like Clinton just isn’t into us except as political pawns. Neither of these Democrats gives a good G’D about the actual lives and aspirations of the GLTBQ communities, who helped him get elected.

  • http://funnyoddthing.blogspot.com frizbeesf
  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I don’t think I have ever accepted that number. I live in Minneapolis where the numbers are skewed in the opposite direction, but I just cannot believe the 3% that is constantly out there.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Sure is. And yeah, tons of guest-worker abuse — not to mention another couple hundred thousand highly-educated American citizens displaced by cheaper H1-Bs. Sure, they say wages are supposed to be boosted for these professional-level guest workers, but the incentives are ass-backwards.

    What’s especially hilarious is how they keep referring to the path-to-citizenship charges explicitly and repeatedly as ‘fines,’ the penalties assessed for employers who underpay their L-1s and H1-Bs or who hire too many of them or who fail to prefer U.S. citizens over handing out the visa green-cards are universally labeled ‘fees.’

  • FLL

    It’s going to be a long, hot summer.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’ve read over the summary on Scribd via TPM, and as near as I can tell roughly 75% of the bill is for the corporations and agri-business. Increased H1-B visas (nearly triple the current number), formalizing guest laborer rules, along with lots of immigration and visa enforcement pork.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/136230105/Outline-of-the-Border-Security-Economic-Opportunity-and-Immigration-Modernization-Act-of-2013

    The other 25% is the well-reported decade-long path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. And reading through the provisions there, I’d wager most of it was drafted with the GOPers on the ‘Gang of Eight’ commission arguing with themselves over just how much nastiness and gratuitous legal abuse they could get away with before the Latino immigrant communities realized they were getting a crap sandwich.

    Those ‘principles’ of President Obama apparently do not rise to the level of considering gay and lesbian American citizens to be equal to heterosexuals, or to correcting a cruel and unjust law.

  • FLL

    Thank you for the update, John. From Carney’s statement:

    “And we have said that we support that provision, but we also think it’s very important to recognize that the overall bill here accomplishes what the President believes needs to be accomplished and is in keeping with his principles.”

    And what, exactly, are those principles? Hopefully, the media, both progressive and mainstream, will raise its voice in protest because Obama has just one hot chance to change course before the Senate committee marks up the bill next week. It’s obvious that marking up the bill in a fair way is doable since the votes in the committee are there and Obama is negotiating with senators right now. The alternative is driving the car off the cliff, which would result in a very messy second term.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, well, it seems HRC and their Villager ilk always want to be on record as being on the right side of LGBT civil rights issues, but as soon as there’s any risk of progress or success, they go dark, turn all concern troll-y, and/or take the position that the latest betrayal is actually some kind of moral victory.

    This “any immigration bill is a gay rights bill” BS is right out their playbook.

  • FLL

    I was honest when I made no prediction, but only said that Obama would only have himself to blame if there was an eruption of discontent, protest, and non-stop unflattering media attention. If same-sex binational couples are thrown to the wolves, that leaves virtually nothing of note to be accomplished in the area of civil rights during the long, long remainder of his second term. Why is our schmuck president so keen on imitating the weakness and short-sightedness of Louis XVI? Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. But whose fault is that?

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    were you letting them go stale first? Mamma Bear insists that’s the correct way. Unfortunately, she says that this year, they’ve changed something — none of her Easter Peeps have gone stale yet!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Re: John’s update about the official White House statement that the gay rights UAFA provision is preferable but not necessary–

    Funny, I remember exactly the same language from Obama’s White House and the president himself about the public insurance option for health care reform.

    Which tells us bi-national immigration rights for gay and lesbian couples was already traded away weeks, if not months ago. Probably for the higher cap on H1-B visas, which corporatists and their Dem neo-liberal lackeys love way more than justice for law-abiding gay and lesbian American citizens being forced to choose between country or family, divorce or exile.

  • FLL

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the people on the HRC board of directors take their marching orders from the same ilk that threw anti-bullying provisions out of the education bill that Congress passed a year or two ago. (No one has forgotten that vile piece of treachery.) Griffin might ignore the HRC board of directors, which would take a lot of balls, or he might begin to mimic their past cowardice, or he might resign. It’ll be interesting to see.

  • FLL

    I always thought Kinsey was more realistic than most people because his estimates were based on face-to-face interviews. The results he got were obviously more accurate than asking someone to check off on a paperform whether they were straight, gay or bi. Most people will lie from here to the moon when they use the paper-form method, but Kinsey’s interview method actually produced honest results. His scale was from 1 to 6. Kinsey very reasonably added the 1s and 2s together and said that group was straight. He added the 5s and 6s together (which was a total of 10%) and said that group was gay. The 3s and 4s, added together, was the bisexual group. Most people to this very day think his methodology was reasonable.

    Keep in mind, however, that even though Kinsey’s results were accurate, they were a description of the United States during the late 1940s, which is hardly a universal. From millennium to millennium and from culture to culture, things swing back and forth (um, so to speak). Modern historians are likely to guess that during most of the Roman Empire, the proportion of hetero and homo sexual activity was much closer to 50-50. The Christian reign of terror lasted from the late fourth century until (LOL) just several years ago—1600 years—and Kinsey’s data from the late 1940s were right in the middle of that reign of terror.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s total bullshit. These are people willing to tell a stranger they’re gay. Hardly indicative of how many people are gay. It’s really insulting how we’ve accepted “out enough to tell a stranger” with “total number of gay people.”

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Let me belatedly add that I never, ever see the above kind of condescending comment directed by non-Jewish Democrats at Jewish Democrats. But there is this dysfunctional attitude among too many heterosexual Democrats that they somehow have some entitlement to smugly lord over gay Democrats. I assume it stems from the decades when they were able to do that with impunity. Regardless, some of us are no longer willing to tolerate it.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    John was being conservative. 3% are the self-identified out-of-the-closet gays. 5-10% is the estimated number if combined with those in the closet, doin’ it on the down-low, and/or in deep denial. People like Larry Craig, Jeff Gannon, Ted Haggard, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, George Rekers, etc.

    I’d imagine the higher number would also include people like myself who are admittedly and comfortably Bi, but who nevertheless lean somewhat on the Kinsey Scale towards the gay range and have settled down with a same-sex spouse.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Thanks, Becca. That point is crucial to me. It’s the difference between demanding inclusion just because the bill is a good vehicle for moving UAFA (which I wouldn’t press strongly) versus demanding inclusion because, without UAFA, the bill really is an attack on those families. Without UAFA, the bill is NOT neutral as to bi-national gay couples. For the reasons you explain very well, it’s terrible for them. It’s a huge step backwards that pulls the rug out from under their precarious existence under current law. It’s the difference between opposing the de-gayed bill for spite (which I would not do) and opposing it as a matter of gay self-defense. It’s the reason I strongly supported the Dream Act–because it didn’t include the draconian enforcement that would harm bi-national gay couples.

  • FunMe

    No! Are you serious? That is horrible!
    Have you or anyone tried to contact GetEqual and let them know what a bad strategy that is?
    (PS: I just wrote something about GetEqual before reading this.)

  • FunMe

    When you’re on your own, we have to fight even harder.

    Remember, while HRC was sucking up to the President and doing very little to advance GLBT equality, groups like “GetEqual” and others were protesting and continuing the pressure on the pressure and government to get rid of DADT. It worked!

    That’s what we have to do we immigration reform. If we have to fight on our own, then that’s what we should do.

  • FunMe

    Honey, they shrunk the gays!

    How did we go from 10% to 3%????!!!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Right. Part of it is a desire to co-opt the movement and use it for issues that are NOT gay issues based on the same nonsense about the de-gayed immigration bill being a gay-rights bill: 3% of the beneficiaries will coincidentally happen to be gay.
    Another part of it, I think, is–or at least was–a reluctance by some gays of color to stand up to their various homophobic religious institutions. However conscious, the objective was to push the movement away from marriage equality and onto something like poverty, so some gays of color could continue to avoid challenging those homophobic religious leaders and preserve the dysfunctional closeting.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    LOL!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    We will see. What didn’t change was the board of directors.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Got it. ;-)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That may have been one of the stated reasons, but it wasn’t the truth of it. The real reason was because Obama and the Democratic party couldn’t be bothered to put their weight behind opposing PropH8, and in fact kept trying to have it both ways by saying they were actually against marriage equality and preferred separate-but-unequal civil unions.

    I’ll even wager that significant numbers of voters who pulled the lever on PropH8 actually believed that gay and lesbian couples already had “as good as marriage” rights through CA’s domestic partnership law and the argument was merely over whether we’d get the word ‘marriage’.

    We in the LGBT community, while perhaps a little better funded than some minorities, nevertheless remain very, very poor as compared to the bigger groups in opposition to us — and in our case, we were overwhelmed in California by the millions of dollars from the Catholic and Mormon churches and their non-stop “gays are evil and hurt children” TV, print, and billboard ads.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    OMG. You are on to me. I’ve been eating Peeps for years hoping for immortality, but, alas, just the opposite is happening.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You deserve the kudos and I’m happy to give them.We need leaders!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And Social Security and Medicare! Don’t forget, gay people are allowed to collect those, so that means those were Big Gay Bills, too.

  • dula

    A similar reason was given for the passing of Prop 8 in CA…Gays didn’t canvas minority communities enough in order to convince them that we are deserving of equal rights. We ignored them so they voted down our rights.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Just don’t let him do what dogs naturally do — no wait,I’m thinking of a Tesla Coil.

    Never mind…
    :-)

  • FLL

    I know very little about HRC president, Chad Griffin, at this point. Do you think he’s either lying or will cave without a fight? The full quote from Griffin is at this link. Here is an excerpt:

    “The idea that lesbian and gay couples are the barrier to a bipartisan immigration reform agreement is an offensive ruse designed to distract attention away from the failings of Congress…a broad coalition of religious groups, labor organizations, businesses and civil rights groups support the inclusion of same-sex bi-national couples in a comprehensive reform bill…The LGBT community will not stand for Congress placing the blame of their own dysfunction on our shoulders.”

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Well, in all fairness, the Emancipation Proclamation was the biggest gay rights bill ever, when the 3% were freed. Well, other than the Declaration of Independence, when the 3% finally took on King George.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes. My concern was confusing people who might think, “but they havent’ voted on the amendment yet!” I think you’re correct, that folks decided long ago, all around, to throw us out. I wouldn’t be surprised they got permission to do it.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I honestly cannot remember a case recently where marriage rights were denied on the basis of a first-cousin marriage. Even if the laws are on the books, the don’t appear to be being enforced with respect to denying recognition of out-of-state marriages of this type.

    As for age-of-consent — nearly same thing, and all those couples have to do is wait a few years.

    Not since the days of the anti-miscegenation laws have we had a situation where marriages began and ended in a very real and legally binding sense at state borders. And it’s actually worse for gay and lesbian couples because at least back then, a legally enacted bi-racial marriage was accepted as legitimate and legal by the Feds.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Nor are polygamous marriages recognized.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’m glad you keep bringing up this especially pernicious angle, that with the new enforcement regime, all the gay and lesbian married bi-national couples who are currently ‘flying under the radar’ in terms of overstaying visas or just hoping they don’t get noticed will be vastly more likely to have their non-citizen spouse be caught, deported, and barred forever from re-entering the country.

    Which as far as I’m concerned is nothing less than demanding otherwise law-abiding U.S. citizens make a choice: Divorce or exile.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    LOL! Exactly. The biggest darn gay-rights bill since the Bush tax cuts!

  • FLL

    People of every race come to the United States from all over the world, and the Americans that some of them marry are of all different races. It’s nasty, vicious and inaccurate of you to reduce any marriage between a U.S. citizen and a non-citizen to your petty and imaginary formula of people who “have a white person to sponsor them.” Do us all a favor and please crawl back under your rock.

  • Thom Watson

    Yes, the general rule — in the past, so we don’t know that we can count on it continuing in a post-DOMA world on in a different administration — has been that DHS/INS/BIA consider the state of the celebration of marriage to be determinative for immigration purposes, not the state where the couple later lives. Other federal policies, e.g., taxation, would seem to be the opposite. But it’s all conjecture; there are legal experts who still come down on either side of where DOMA would leave such couples.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I just think the fix already is in and that the objective of activism is to undo it–perhaps just a quibble with your future tense. I imagine there is already a CAP/HRC-approved plan to kill the amendment in either the Senate committee or in a conference committee. Indeed, I imagine the orchestrated wave of Senate endorsements of marriage equality were part of it: “Here are some pretty words to distract you as we stab you in the back again in the next several weeks.”

  • Thom Watson

    Excuse me? You’ll telling me to STFU, essentially? Ironically, at the heart I don’t think you and I are even in disagreement, but regardless I don’t appreciate being told to keep quiet in what is not a site or a conversation you own or have the right to try to silence me. I’m not saying what /would/ be the case post-DOMA, I’ve said what /has been/ the general rule to this point — and what many legal experts I’ve consulted with, in my work with Marriage Equality USA, have told me as well.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Please stop repeating this. We do not know whether that old case law from other contexts will even survive the DOMA decision. It is flatly inconsistent with the states’ rights argument that Kennedy seems to favor, because it amounts to the federal government impose another states’ definition of marriage on the state of residence. From the out-of-state divorce cases, there is a long line of Supreme Court precedent recognizing that the state of residence has the final authority in determining the marital status of its own people.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I disagree with your charitable assessment of the Democratic position. They have waited 24 weeks since the election to turn to immigration. They could easily wait the 6 more weeks it will take to know what the DOMA ruling is.

    They don’t want to wait for that ruling because if that ruling is against gay couples, the Democrats do not want to be pressured even more to protect bi-national gay couples. They will lose one of their top arguments for tossing bi-national gay couples overboard, which is that the Court will just take care of this. They want to leave out bi-national gay couples before the Court rules in any way that doesn’t fully handle the problem.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I’m infuriated by your plight and the casual disregard of it by heterosexual Democratic strategists. Apparently, the Democratic Party wants loyal and law-abiding gay Americans in your position to self-deport or self-divorce.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    They already have. Those mini-DOMAs and state marriage amendments explicitly override comity and mandate a denial of recognition.

  • FLL

    I’m glad you mentioned the “B” word. The Republicans are bluffing. They need immigration reform too much. At some point during 2013, the Republicans will give in. Until they do, an unfair bill is a non-starter, and everyone needs to know that.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Minor differences in ages of consent have never been regarded as reflecting strong public policies that justify ignoring a marriage. On the other hand, extreme age differences, as in exotic foreign laws, would lead to a denial of recognition–say a marriage of a 9-year-old under the law of a foreign country. No state is going to recognize such a marriage.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Not to mention, if they’re going to per se filibuster “any bill that includes gays,” and immigration reform is the biggest gay bill ever, then they’re going to filibuster it anyway, right? ;-)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m, not understanding your tense point – explain.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    No one knows whether that celebration rule would be intact post DOMA. It is flatly inconsistent with the states’ rights argument that Justice Kennedy seems to find persuasive, as it would amount to the federal government choosing to allow gay marriage states with no connection to a couple to override the marriage definition of the states where they live. The very essence of the states’ rights argument is that each state should be allowed to decide the question of gay marriage and that the federal government should honor that state’s choice.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    But of course!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    No, but I actually built one as part of a ‘Physics Olympics’ team in high school. The Marshmallow Peeps remained unscathed, despite repeated treatments from a fully charged Tesla Coil and directed high-intensity microwaves.

    The other day when people were going on in the comments about tin-foil hats and copper-plated hats to help keep the CIA mind-control rays at bay, I quipped that I’d gone way beyond tin foil and was operating my computer using a long non-conductive stick from safe inside my Faraday cage.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    No, you stay out of the debate until you get over your panting desire to throw bi-national gay couples into an untenable new draconian enforcement regime and destroy their marriages. You’re only helping who you want to help, so get off your high horse.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    No, it’s your self-serving rationalization to justify your self-centered desire to make loyal and law-abiding gay Americans take a bullet.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    How generous of you to order loyal and law-abiding gay Americans to get in the back of the line and wait 15 years for undocumented immigrants to maybe, eventually get to vote.

    No.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Wow. Thanks for the backgrounder.

    I guess this harkens back to your Outrage Inc post the other day, where it does sometimes seem like the only way you yourself will catch a break among these perpetually outraged types is if you were a disabled mixed-race lesbian.

    I arrived late at the LGBT civil rights party, but I cannot imagine feeling that gay white men were somehow my enemies, not when we’ve all been in the same boat all along.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    The much better comparison is to the Violence Against Women Act, which passed with its gay provisions fully intact, did it not? And Republicans are far more worried about Latinos than women.

  • FLL

    As I said in my reply to Tea Time, the public will not side against gay people and their allies because they fight for a fair immigration bill rather than supporting an unfair one. They’ll take it out on the likes of Marco Rubio and his allies in the House during the midterms. Watch and see. Good for you for not supporting an unfair bill. I don’t think everything is carved in stone yet because a major initiative like immigration reform takes almost a year, but I’m glad you don’t intend to support an unfair finished product, and I hope everyone else joins you in that sentiment.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Please identify any part of your condescending comment that constituted “help” from a straight ally.

    All I see is yet more patronizing and insulting instruction to sit down, shut up, and climb under the bus for heterosexual Democrats. Had you bothered to read John’s post, you would have found your question already answered there. I don’t recall the Violence Against Women Act being killed in the Senate, or was it somehow not “any bill that include[d] ‘gays.'” You’re wallowing in political homophobia.

    Fuck you! If you want those 1 in 5 gay bundlers to keep pumping your party full of money, you’ll learn some goddamn respect for a change. Maybe you missed the part where heterosexual Democrats don’t dictate terms to faggots anymore. You wanna offset all that post-Citizens United corporate money without our queer dollars? Fucking try it, princess. We’re not your bullied ’90s gays anymore, and we don’t exist to service you.

    Tell me, dear straight “ally,” when bi-national gay couples get hit with the new draconian enforcement regime you’re falling all over yourself to enact, do our dear straight “allies” prefer that loyal and law-abiding gay Americans with foreign partners SELF-DEPORT or SELF-DIVORCE? What’s the edict on that one from straight “allies”?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Yes! My only disagreement is with John’s verb tense–bi-national gay couples have already been thrown under the bus.

    Far from helping to enact an attack on bi-national gay couples, I full intend to vigorously work to kill the entire bill.

  • d3clark

    Becca, You hit THAT nail on the head in just over a sentence!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LOL wasn’t looking for kudos, just meant that sometimes writing about these things, publicly, is al that’s needed to get a fire going.

  • FLL

    You won’t have to wait until the undocumented become citizens. There are already enough Mexicans and other Hispanics that already are citizens to have tipped the scales in favor of equal rights for gay people. Why do you think social conservatives are so horrified at the prospect of increased Hispanic immigration? Because Hispanics in general, and Mexicans in particular, are more supportive of gay equality than the national average.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Can we bring Bodhi dog?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I didn’t say he was a problem. Just noting the interesting coincidence. Robin isn’t running it anymore, it’s Heather and Felipe.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I don’t have patience. But this issue is important, and I’m not going to get side-tracked by the typical haters.

  • FLL

    I’m glad you brought up popular opinion, which was in the context of background checks for firearms. The Republicans in the Senate went against the vast majority of public opinion. What makes you think that the electorate won’t take that out on Republicans in the midterms? Yes, I’m well aware that the party of a second-term president almost always loses seats in the midterms, but when the Republicans spit it everyone’s face, you can be sure that it will be a net minus for them in the 2014 elections. Instead of winning lots of seats, they’ll win far fewer seats. Or (to think the unthinkable) instead of winning seats, the Republicans will actually lose seats. The party of a second-term president has only won seats once since the Civil War: in 1998, when the Republicans were in the process of impeaching Bill Clinton for having consensual sex with Monica Lewinsky. (By the way, if that unique exception doesn’t give us all a big hint about the political stupidity of sticking your nose in other people’s sex lives, I don’t know what does.)

    Now let’s extrapolate this reasoning to the inclusion of same-sex binational couples in immigration reform. We have two possibilities:

    (1) Fight like hell to include same-sex binational couples in immigration reform, and watch the Republicans block an immigration-reform bill completely this year, postponing it until 2014 or 2015. Do you think the public will blame those horrible queers? Guess again, Sparky. They’ll blame the Republicans and you know it.

    (2) Fight like hell to include same-sex binational couples in immigration reform, and watch Congress pass immigration reform without any provision for same-sex binational couples. That brings us to the inevitable marches, protests, sit-ins, and people chaining themselves to the White House fence that will dominate the headlines. I ask you once again, Sparky, will the public disapprove of those horrible queers (including the immigrant ones and the brown-skinned ones) standing up for themselves? You’re only fooling yourself. The Republicans will still look like shit on a soda cracker.

    You might not like the idea, but in either case, the public will not side against gay people and their allies for doing everything they can to ensure that immigration reform is fair. You might not like the idea, but you’ll have to get used to the idea. Most Americans will respect gay people and their allies if they fight for justice and don’t cave in. As far as American culture is concerned, I think that ship has sailed.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Various sources. As I’ve quoted other bloggers saying before, there is a line of thinking among some in the black community that “gay” is a white thing. Apart fro that, you also have a new current among some trans people and some young gay people, and certainly gender study types (and closet Marxists) that white gay men are evil and simply must be destroyed, and thus all the institutions they built, the modern gay rights movement, must be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch since it’s purpose it to help white men and white men only. I exaggerate, but only slightly. Remember last year when i responded to those new “studies” claiming that gay rights should focus on poverty issues rather than marriage? Similar underlying theory – marriage is for white men. DADT is for white men. ENDA is for real people and it was ignored because white men don’t like white men, they claim (no, it was ignored because there weren’t exactly a steady stream of horror stories like we had with DADT, and there weren’t a steady stream of heart-tugging stories like we had with marriage.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I didn’t know that about you. Good for you.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    As you’ll recall, background checks was not legislation vital to Republicans securing the growing latino vote, a voting bloc they feel is imperative if they are ever to win the White House any time this next century. So I’d argue that your comparison to background checks is false. The NRA has far more power than the religious right nowadays. And gay rights is far more popular generally than gun control. But regardless, the GOP isn’t desperate to win over gun control advocates. They ARE desperate to win latinos. So I would challenge any assumption that Marco Rubio’s bluff – when Rubio himself is desperate for Democratic latino voters to support his presidential run in 2016 – is anything more than just a bluff

    As for your first paragraph, I honestly don’t understand it.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Same, straight marriage 5 yrs. Gay marriage 20 yrs.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You are indeed!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    thanks, also email me if you guys see this stuff, I don’t check every thread.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    By god, do you have patience. I’m biting my tongue getting in synch with the new ‘civility.’lol

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Eloquent and beautiful letter, but wasted on a blue dog troll like DiFi. I’ve know her since the Sup days and can tell you she just doesn’t give a damn about the GLTBQ community. In fact, like Obama, she thinks of us as a pain in the ass except to the degree we can buy into the Demo lies and hand over votes.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It comes from the same ignorant mentality that ‘white males’ have been discriminated against by diverse minorities and women.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thinking is a major task for the likes of bigot Maribel. Maybe a comic version would be easier.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    An example, many of us have fought for Civil Rights from the get go. Those of us who are GLTBQ stood by and watched the black Church overwhelming vote against our civil rights in Prop 8. That insult and disappointment doesn’t change what we we believe to be true—–equal standing under the law and civil rights for all Americans.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well sister, let me tell you. I was down in Mississippi in the early 60’s fighting for full civil rights for all of us. I’m white and gay and say to you: “FU!.” What racist BS. Shame on you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boywonder3919 Mike Rasor

    Actually states can refuse to acknowledge marriages which violate age of consent laws. Several states will refuse to acknowledge a marriage where a minor unable to marry in their home state, leaves the state to marry and then returns. Further, in most states parents can have a marriage voided if their child marries in another state and would have had to have parental consent if they married in their home state.
    A violation of public policy is essentially any marriage not authorized by state law. Before Loving v. Virginia states with anti-misegination laws would refuse to acknowlege interracial marriages. It wasn’t until all anti-misegination laws were declared unconstituional that those states were forced to acknowledge out of state interracial marriages.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    bravo

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    SPAM

  • xodimifejuj

    my roomate’s half-sister makes $76/hour on the laptop. She has been without work for 10 months but last month her income was $15292 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on  Zap22.c­om

  • http://twitter.com/yurchie Denis Yurchikov

    The Democrats are cowards, plain and simple. And Obama will compromise anything good out of the immigration bill anyway.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    They seem to be pissed because we won’t say thank you and pay for the gas to fuel the bus we just got thrown under. Again.

  • TeaTime

    John you have to stop this “I am out on this branch alone.” As Dan Savage stated, you (LGBT) need the help of straight allies to get things done ["Thank A Straight Ally" project]. Because the vast majority of voters and legislators are not gay, you will continue to need their help in making substantive changes. Moreover, it is a SLAP in their face and rather insulting to hear this constant drumbeat that “no one is going to fight for us”.

    Addressing the immigration issues, let’s bottom line this if possible. You will need 60-votes (Cloture) to get anything out of the Senate because Mr. Crazy (Gov’t trying to buy up all the bullets who doesn’t care about any party, including his own) INHOFE and others will filibuster this and any bill that include “gays”.

    Further, if they (republicans) will vote against “background checks” that is overwhelming favored by the public, even NRA members, while willing to take a temporary hit, what makes you think they would not kill this bill if gays are included. And I haven’t even gotten to the gerrymandered House.

    So again, how do you get to magic 60?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I know what you’re talking about, but honestly John, I have no friggin’ clue where that meme came from or why it’s become accepted as established fact in many circles, when there is zero evidence that it’s actually true.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Well, I”m doing my part – writing about it and putting public pressure on our leaders, in the groups, and congress. Now the groups need to step up.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    As I commented below, apparently we LGBTs — a tiny and long oppressed minority who’ve had to fight claw-and-nail for what few civil rights we’ve managed to win — have to fight for everybody else’s civil rights, particularly heterosexual people of color and straight immigrants, before we’re allowed to fight for ours.

    (Never mind the fact there is no evidence we’ve ‘ignored’ people of color and/or immigrants. We protested the HIV travel ban — even though most victims are hetero. We fought for access to medical care for HIV-positive people who are poor, who are disproportionately also people of color. We’re fighting for UAFA, which is an immigration issue at its core and would be colorblind in implementation. Heck, we fight for the rights of gay people who won’t even admit they’re gay.)

    I mean, I get it: People of color and immigrants have had to endure racism and bigotry for ages. It’s wrong and always will be. But so have we, and unlike people of color and immigrants, not that long ago we used to be thrown into prisons and mental institutions as a matter of course. Do they have to regularly watch political and religious leaders go on TV, today in 2013, and hear them denounce them as morally degenerate, sexual deviants, and damned to hell merely for existing? I’m not saying such bigotry doesn’t exist, but only with respect to LGBTs is it given complete legitimacy, as if it is merely a point of view. And worse, a view that because it is claimed to be religiously motivated, is often given greater value and weight over secular morality and justice.

    I guess Ms. Hernandez-Green feels we should be plotzing our collective drawers because the immigration reform measure being considered doesn’t specifically include discrimination against gay immigrants. Except of course for those 28,500 expatriated American citizens who will continue to be denied the right to live with their wives, husbands, and families here due to GOP bigotry and Dem homophobic cowardice. It must be that caring about the rights of law-abiding gay and lesbian American citizens who have to endure a form of discrimination unknown to heterosexuals is unwarranted selfishness.

  • FLL

    Are the three directors Robin McGehee, Heather Cronk and Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez? Is Felipe the problem?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s more than that. I suspect it’s part of that vein of thinking, that popped up more strongly in the past two years, that the gay communities priorities are only to help white people, and not people of color. As if military service or marriage or hate crimes, only apply to white people. I suspect some of these people would prefer we work on issue that have nothing to do with gay rights, but rather simply are minority issues, or poverty issues, or economic issues. Which are great issues, but they’re not necessarily gay rights issues, and if you create a civil rights group for one group of people you generally expect that group to work on that people’s civil rights. Some prefer we work on other issues and redefine them as “gay.” Thus my story.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Faraday cage. Did you see that on Ghost Hunters? ;-)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m fine with Felipe taking over GetEqual – or co-taking over – but not if it’s part of this larger movement to suddenly redefine immigration reform as being so “gay” that it doesn’t need to actually include our number one gay immigration priority.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Let’s be adults here and stop playing the “you just hate dark people” game. That’s very high school. But we’re here to debate serious issues and resolve them. (Not to mention, someone is clearly evincing hate in this discussion, but it’s not me.) UAFA was dropped from immigration reform, no one put up a fight until several of us did first, and suddenly the groups – who were all on board immigration reform already, but not saying much – started talking about how bad it was that UAFA got dropped. It’s interesting how the number one gay priority for immigration reform got dropped, and now suddenly we have another number one priority that never existed. That’s great if immigration reform happens to help gay people who are Latino immigrants. But that doesn’t make it a gay rights bill. It’s not like gay Latinos suddenly got added to the bill when HRC joined on. You were already there. Our groups joined in the fight because you were going to include OUR ISSUES. We only had one. It got dropped. Now rather than acknowledging that, and working with us, you’re calling us racists for wanting our one immigration issue added back in. That speaks volumes.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Prove it. Don’t just allege it. Prove it. Give us some facts.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I didn’t realize people of color and immigrants were exempted from DADT’s repeal and from the Hate Crimes bill, or from ENDA, or DOMA repeal, or the current court cases before the Supreme Court. Other than that, good point.

  • brucet

    Get this immigration bill passed then when the undocumented become citizens then they can vote in the gay rights stuff for acceptance. But not now

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    *** And do you seriously think Obama would veto an immigration bill simply because it threw 30k gay families to the wolves? ***

    Hell no!

    First of all, I believe he’s gotten his marching orders to get the immigration bill passed – and no excuses.

    Secondly, I’ve the distinct impression BHO is a very conventional right-winger himself. I suspect throwing gay folks to the wolves wouldn’t bother him the least bit.

  • FLL

    I hope what you said about BIA is the case. I’ve heard elsewhere that the Department of Homeland Security traditionally looks to the states to determine whether a marriage is valid, but I don’t know if that means the state where the couple was married or the state where the couple currently lives. Could anyone clear that up?

  • http://funnyoddthing.blogspot.com frizbeesf

    Seriously? That is what you took away from that? Wow… ok then let me clarify….It’s called a Metaphor Julien

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    This echoes what I said the other day, about how even if DOMA’s section 3 is overturned and the Feds required to recognize legally enacted same-sex marriages, we’re still looking at years, if not decades of litigation before all of the 1100+ rights and privileges are secured for gay and lesbian couples.

  • Thom Watson

    To BeccaM: They /might/ still recognize it, but they’re not legally required to. There are indeed states whose laws say that a first-cousin marriage
    contracted elsewhere, where it was legal, is invalid once the couple
    moves into these states. As I just noted in a separate response, it’s not that they have to recognize other states’ marriages that they wouldn’t permit themselves, it’s more likely that they just don’t consider it worth the trouble, expense and bad p.r. to go after such couples. But they would go after same-sex couples, no doubt about it.

  • FLL

    People of color and immigrants include gay people. Duh. Did you only think white people are gay? Think it through again.

  • Thom Watson

    They don’t actually have to, though, and in fact some states laws expressly note that they do not recognize first-cousin marriages legally contracted in other states. My sense, though, is that these couples don’t self-identify when moving to a state that wouldn’t otherwise recognize their marriage, and that the states don’t consider it worth the trouble to track them down and legally annual their marriages. But you can bet they would take the trouble to track down and make trouble for every single same-sex couple.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I have plenty of room in my Faraday cage. You and your husband are both welcome. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    Does this ‘something-for-nothing’ scheme work when you add ten familes instead of one? A thousand?

    Do you happen to be a Cornucopian?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And ONLY if they’re heterosexual.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Exactly the point. While a given state might, according to its own laws, not issue a license to a couple of a particular age or, as is in the case with some states, if they’re first-cousins, they will still recognize as such a marriage legally valid and binding if the license was issued in a jurisdiction that permitted it.

    Besides the federal denial of marriage rights in DOMA, its second great injustice was to codify in law, for the first time since Loving v. Virginia, the right for states as well to refuse to recognize legally registered marriages.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    I now see the problem. Marriage is marriage is marriage. Splitting up legally married folk to satisfy some dumbass GOPer isn’t something which ought to be done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maribel.hernandezgreen Maribel Hernandez-Green

    like horse shit it stinks and it has been by experience and observation for many many years

  • http://www.facebook.com/madbrainDotCom Julien Pierre

    I wonder if he is aware that second hand smoke is an issue that legislators never wanted to touch in California. The only reason smoking finally got outlawed in bars and restaurants was by voter initiative. The bartenders were literally sick of getting cancer !

    There is no such voter initiative process at the federal level for immigration rights, however.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I guess her position is gay people get no rights until we fight for and win civil rights and full equality for everyone else first.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanWithCupcake Ryan

    They buy goods and services by producing and selling their own goods and services. Since the amount of goods and services we can produce is limited by the amount of labor we have, we will have more goods and services to split up after we bring in more labor. Furthermore, because the same person is more productive here than in other countries, the total amount of goods and services will be larger.

  • nicho

    As long as they’re heterosexual.

  • nicho

    What a load of horse shit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maribel.hernandezgreen Maribel Hernandez-Green

    maybe its because gay rights have ignored people of color and immigrants since the very beginning unless it is to objectify them rice qeen anyone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    And what will that “new family” from Mexico/Japan/Ireland use for money to buy all those wonderful goods and services.

    Note I’m making the assumption they aren’t wealthy folks who chose the US as a place to retire.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    I’ve always been under the impression that marriage to a US citizen gives the alien a clear path to becoming a citizen after a lot of paperwork.

    Am I mistaken?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Beautiful letter. Well done.

  • http://funnyoddthing.blogspot.com frizbeesf

    Our email and Letter to Senator Feinstein.
    ————————————————–

    Senator Feinstein,

    As you and your fellow lawmakers begin to take up the issue of Immigration Reform, We wanted to let you know what it is that the Senate will be voting on.

    True, the bill will cover important things like, border security, employment verification, and the critical issue of a pathway to legitimacy for thousands of hard working, taxpaying undocumented persons and their families. All of this is vital work for the American People and we are PROUD to be your constituents, and thank you for your hard work on this issue.

    Yet We want you to share with your fellow Senators on both sides of the aisle one other issue in the proposed bill they will be voting on. You and the other 99 members of the United States Senate will also, literally be voting for or against… Us.

    When you sit in Committee and then later stand on the floor of the Senate, you will not just be voting for a collection of policy changes. You will be making a clear long-lasting , and far reaching statement about how you feel about Us. Not politics, not just immigration in General , but Us, David and Eric, as people.

    We live in London. David moved here from California in April 2011. Selling a home, quitting a rewarding and wonderfully challenging job, leaving friends and family behind and moving nearly halfway around the world. Now mind you , London is great city, and the UK is certainly a wonderful place to live, but this move was not by choice.

    In January 2011 we got married, and at present, because Eric is not an American, in order to do something as basic as live together as legal spouses, David had to leave the United States. Because current U.S Immigration law does not grant any recognition to couples like us. Because, we are both men.

    Some of your fellow Senators would probably say to Us, “Guys, I don’t agree with discrimination against Gays, but this issue is bigger than any one group’s concerns.” Sorry, that is pretty much the same as saying ” We agree with you that second hand smoke is bad, so from now on the law says everyone will only smoke at your house.”

    So let’s be very clear on what votes on this proposed legislation really mean.

    Please tell your colleagues that by denying the inclusion of Gay and Lesbian couples and families in Immigration Reform, they are voting to keep one of your constituents, a law abiding, taxpaying American Citizen, and his legal spouse, out of the United States, for the rest of our lives.

    Please make them understand that by leaving families like ours out of this bill, they are using the power of the United States Senators to say that that David is less of an American, and both of us are lesser human beings than they are. To move this bill forward without anything less than full inclusion is , in the truest sense of the word, attacking thousands of Americans and their families.

    It is the United States Government going out its way to say We don’t merit the same treatment under the law as you do, voting that our marriages and our families are less than yours. It is the United States Senate saying that love is only real when you feel it. Not when We feel it.

    As the President likes to say, “let me be clear.” When you and your fellow Senators vote on this issue, you are not voting on politics, or public policy. You are voting on our lives

    You are voting either for or against real people, and their rights as Americans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is a vote that says what you honestly feel about whether or not, as human beings, the lives of some Americans have less value than yours, and then using the power of the Government to stamp that on the borders of our great Nation.

    It is our belief that the United States of America is so much better than that. We hope the United States Senate feels the same way. Immigration reform with out inclusion of the Uniting American Families Act is nothing less than the perpetuation of bigotry through political cowardice.

    Thanks for your time, and all the great work you do on behalf of Californians and All Americans

    Sincerely,
    David & Eric
    London, United Kingdom

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’ve been divorced once… oh wait. That was my hetero marriage, which ended after six years.

    My big ole lesbian marriage has lasted 14 1/2 and neither of us can imagine ever leaving the other.

  • http://funnyoddthing.blogspot.com frizbeesf

    THANK YOU … glad to see somebody gets how the Windsor case is not a Win.. it is a partial win for SOME people. For example Bi-National Couples in 13 countries that grant same sex couples equal rights, would still be out of luck as their unions are not called “Marriages” so would NOT qualify for spousal immigration rights because the bulk of DOMA remains intact and on the books.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You’re telling me. And how exactly is a temporary visa related to siblings in any way supposed to be a viable workaround for an American citizen to sponsor a green card for their foreign national spouse who has no relatives living here in the first place?

    A whole bag full of hammers stupid.

  • Thom Watson

    (I posted this above, but reposting it here for ease of reference.) The BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) general rule is that marriages
    are considered valid for their purposes if they were valid where they
    were celebrated, even if the couple later moves to a jurisdiction where
    there marriage would not be valid. So while DOMA Section 2 likely would
    continue to have implications for determination of couples’ federal
    marital status for other purposes — particularly taxation or pension
    benefits — as long as the couple married in a state that recognized
    their marriage, the BIA post-DOMA Section 3 likely also would consider
    this to be sufficient. It still would mean that couples in most of the
    U.S. would have to travel out-of-state to be married, which could be a
    hardship for many, but it wouldn’t leave them altogether unable to
    qualify as married under the BIA general rule as long as they could and
    were willing to travel to marry.

    That said, I still support UAFA and full inclusion of same-sex couples in immigration reform.

  • Thom Watson

    The BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) general rule is that marriages are considered valid for their purposes if they were valid where they were celebrated, even if the couple later moves to a jurisdiction where there marriage would not be valid. So while DOMA Section 2 likely would continue to have implications for determination of couples’ federal marital status for other purposes — particularly taxation or pension benefits — as long as the couple married in a state that recognized their marriage, the BIA post-DOMA Section 3 likely also would consider this to be sufficient. It still would mean that couples in most of the U.S. would have to travel out-of-state to be married, which could be a hardship for many, but it wouldn’t leave them altogether unable to qualify as married under the BIA general rule as long as they could and were willing to travel to marry.

    That said, I still support UAFA and full inclusion of same-sex couples in immigration reform.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Oh yeah? You show me a gay couple that have been legally married and divorced 4 times and I’ll show you a “real” traditional marriage…
    8-O

  • TomTO

    They also can’t seem to fathom that many of us are bi-national as well as bi-racial couples. There is a whole lotta stupid in that post.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You fight your wars and we’ll fight ours. As evidenced by yourself, we don’t have very many allies, so we have to stay focused.

    Also, there are lots of gay people who aren’t caucasian. What’s with the racist remarks anyway?

  • nicho

    So you’re saying families should be split up to keep the population at what you’ve determined to be a maximum level? I have a friend — a US citizens — who is soon to be faced with the choice of moving out of the country or being without his lawfully married spouse. We don’t do this for straight people — why do we do it for gays? Maybe you could explain it to him, because I sure as hell can’t.

  • nicho

    but this legal principal allows exceptions for acts which violate a state’s public policy.

    But no things like age of consent? Some states have different ages for marriage — but all states recognize marriages performed according to state laws in other states regardless of age.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s fascinating how this commenter above you thinks that whites are the only gay people.

    I guess whoever he or she is, they haven’t been paying attention to the news lately.

    Talk about racism and bigotry in one short paragraph up there.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    My tin foil hat is just becoming too heavy. Will cellophane work?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The President won’t play chicken. He could care less about a few thousand gay families and marriages.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boywonder3919 Mike Rasor

    Well it’s unlikely that section 2 of DOMA will be overturned anytime soon without a supreme court decision mandating states to permit same sex couples to marry. The Full Faith and Credit Clause generally applies to judgements of state courts and state laws, but not other official acts of a state. Marriage has traditionally been acknowledged between states on the principal of comity, but this legal principal allows exceptions for acts which violate a state’s public policy. Additionally, the constitution provides congress some latitude in legislating the effects of the full faith and credit clause. Given this and Kennedy’s love affair with states rights, it seems unlikely a majority of the current court would overturn section 2.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Exactly ! Note to Blog……The outrage is deep, abiding and explains the depth of passion expressed here. I, for one am grateful to have that privilege. Strategically, we need a focused plan to combat and change this violation for just law and civil rights. Where are our leaders.?

  • TomTO

    I can’t believe we have people arguing that gay American citizens deserve less rights than non citizens. That are now using race as a divisive argument. You are no better than the Republicans.

  • Xiomara C

    John, of course you are the kind of person who would never support immigration reform if it didn’t involve bi-national couple- that is immigration in relation to white people. What about talking about preserving visas for siblings, as that is a way many LGBT brothers and sisters are able to come to the US when they don’t have a white person to sponsor them. Look at the Los Angeles MayDay March. Not only a HUGE LGBT contingent, but most of the messaging was about including all people. Do me a favor, stay out of the debate. You aren’t helping anyone.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanWithCupcake Ryan

    The number of jobs isn’t fixed. Adding people both increases the supply and demand for labor. When a new family moves into a town, they need places to live, shop, go to school, play, and get health care in addition to places to work. In addition, increasing the size of the labor pool allows workers to further specialize and become more productive, which can simultaneously raise wages and lower prices.

  • caphillprof

    The only people that should be crying in the US of A is Republicans when they lose omitting gay people from the immigration bill.

    It’s only by making gay indispensable that we reach the day when gay is no longer an issue.

    NO to immigration reform that doesn’t not cover EVERYBODY.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    A magnificent word you used there: Disrespectful.

    That’s what this is all about. Respect would be for that neighbor of yours to acknowledge your marriage and include you in invitations to visit, rather than — as I gathered from the gist of what you’ve said here — essentially deny you even exist or have a significant committed relationship.

    You touched on another angle as well, this way the bigots have of diminishing us, of claiming our families aren’t real, that our commitments and love have no meaning. According to them, we do not love as they do, and thus we may occasionally get an “aw, that’s cute” from the more open-minded ones, but never an acknowledgment that our relationships are equal to theirs.

    If a politician — whether Dem or GOP — is okay with the idea that it’s acceptable or even preferable to break up our families, that’s essentially what they’re saying: They don’t consider us to be real people.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “If Obama played a game of chicken with the Republicans, he would easily win.” Is this one of those: Why did the chicken cross the road jokes? :-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “What in the hell is the justification for allowing this cruelty to continue?” At the very heart of it, among the bigots, even family members is the deep seated notion that GLTBQ people are not really complete people, nor are our relationships and families really valid. The most cynical, like Clinton, could have cared less about the humanity of us and used us merely as cyphers in his political bean games —same goes for Obama. And example: An older woman down the street has taken a shine to my partner of twenty years and calls all hours of the day and night for him to fix this, or check that, or drop by and meet the visiting grand kids. It never occurs to her how disrespectful that is. What if I called her at all hours of the day and night, inviting her over for cocktails at ten in the evening when her husband was at home. That’s just a small example..but it points out how deeply seated is the denial of validity for our relationships by even the most progressive straights. I think it’s time for the GLTBQ communities to come together like OCCUPY and make this a national scandal. Denying our bonded couples immigration privileges is prejudice and bigotry made law and confirmed by the American government.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That is appalling news, John. Damn… Do we have anybody left on our side? Any activist group of enough size and influence to get anything done?

  • Bill_Perdue

    The immigration bill currently being considered is a racist anti-immigrant bill that ill penalize imported and immigrant workers with fines and back taxes, a bracero program and an almost decade long period of semi legality when it will be difficult to strike and fight for better wages and benefits.

    It’s a bill to benefit the .01% and their managers.

    And it will also likely be an anti-gay bill. Bigots in both parties will see to that.

    A good bill would include the following:

    · End the horrors of unemployment by adopting a 30 hour work week, with full benefits, for 40 hours pay and by supporting demands for trillions to be invested in publicly owned and democratically Manhattan Project style efforts to green industry, agriculture and the infrastructure.

    · Full rights for immigrant and imported workers including the right of dual citizenship.

    · Declare the US a multilingual nation.

    · Criminalize discrimination, violence and harassment by racists, misogynists, gay haters. immigrant bashers and union busters. Make union recognition and membership for workers a requirement for all companies and enterprises.

  • FLL

    Are you sure? That sounds almost too repulsive to believe.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    GetEqual was taken over by one of the DREAM activists :) They’re now issuing the same press releases as the mainstream gay groups on this. That it’s a “gay” bill.

  • FLL

    A major piece of legislation like immigration reform will take most of the year. Hopefully, it won’t get to the point where Obama even needs to threaten a veto. If GetEQUAL, the New York Times, el al. create their 31 flavors of holy hell very early on in the process (like starting right now), Obama might see the wisdom in lobbying both Congress and the public for a fair immigration bill. But it’s got to be big and noisy, as we know from 2010.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Hadn’t seen that piece, just added the link to the my story

  • FLL

    Only Section 3 of DOMA is before the Supreme Court, which will not solve the problem for same-sex binational couples. (See my comment above.)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I hope you’re right. Unfortunately, the GOP seems now to be firmly in the hands of the most narrow-minded, mean-spirited bigots imaginable, whereas the Dems are being run by cowardly political homophobes and craven liars.

    Remember how it was supposed to be political suicide to oppose universal background checks for purchasing firearms? It didn’t stop the GOPers then either.

    And do you seriously think Obama would veto an immigration bill simply because it threw 30k gay families to the wolves?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’m having a hard time trying to wrap my head around the notion that anybody thinks it’s right, proper, or just to force an American citizen to choose between family and country.

    How any supposedly pro-gay politician — Dem or otherwise — can stand there and say it’s really no big deal, it’s a disposable detail and doesn’t rise to the level of doing something about it. Or even how someone who doesn’t especially like gay people but is forced to admit that we do exist and we aren’t going to go get straight-married no matter how many ‘Protection of Marriage’ (sic) laws they pass can think it’s necessary and a legitimate function of government to deny us the right to sponsor permanent residency for a loved one.

    What in the hell is the justification for allowing this cruelty to continue? Why is it at all controversial?

    Is it that important to punish people for being gay or lesbian? One simple but important civil right among the 1100+ rights already denied to gay and lesbian couples — and the GOPers will kill a bill over it and the Dems have already signaled that civil right is entirely negotiable, not to mention disposable and unimportant?

    (Aside: If we can’t even get something this tiny passed legislatively, I think it should be clear to all of us that any significant gay rights legislation is a dead proposition for the foreseeable future. ENDA, DOMA repeal, whatever. If the Dems have no backbone to push for UAFA, either as a standalone measure or an amendment, and the bigoted GOPers consider this as a line that must not be crossed, to the point of being willing to kill an entire bill — immigration sponsorship for less than 30k gay and lesbian couples, for crissake — we can pretty much forget about the big stuff.)

    There was once a time when there were principled politicians in both parties serving in our government, willing to do the right thing not because it was easy, but because it was the right thing to do. True, there weren’t always that many of them, but they did exist in sufficient numbers to sometimes get these things enacted. This is why we didn’t have to wait for a solid plurality to be in favor of interracial marriage before the Supreme Court overturned anti-miscegenation laws nationwide. Or for our armed forces to be integrated. Or for hate-crimes and anti-discrimination laws to be passed. Those principled politicians appear to be an extinct species.

    Finally, we need to call them on this bullshit of saying this is a ‘gay rights’ immigration bill simply because there aren’t any lines in it that say, “Oh, and gay people are to be denied any and all immigration rights because they’re icky.” Don’t fall for it. Make it clear that being told this is an insult, a message of deep disrespect, and will not be tolerated.

  • FLL

    There’s an excellent article at The Daily Beast at this link. It really would be political suicide for the GOP to sink the entire immigration reform bill just to exclude same-sex couples. If they did, the electorate would certainly blame the GOP. If Obama played a game of chicken with the Republicans, he would easily win. Remember that the president is a necessary component of any piece of legislation by virtue of the presidential veto power. If Obama caves in to the Republicans, he would be just begging for GetEQUAL to land on his doorstep, and he would have only himself to blame.

  • unclemike

    My legally-married husband (Thanks, Canada!) is Chinese, and lives and works in Hong Kong. If the Supes drop the ball on DOMA, and UAFA is toast, then America will be less one pretty good Algebra teacher soon. I’ll sell my condo and move to the Pacific Rim, because I’d rather spend the rest of my time with him at my side than another minute in a country that doesn’t fully recognize my rights as a citizen.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s outrage-free week at AMERICAblog. Have at it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/zachary.smith.3914207 Zachary Smith

    Opinion time, and this may get me in hot water.

    I see the “immigration reform” as a right-wing crock-of-crap. The shills for Big Business WANT more people competing in for the dwindling numbers of US jobs. That’ll help bust unions, and keep wages down. But they DON’T want those new workers to have any rights, nor to have any real chance of getting established.

    Why the hell do they have to write 844 pages of fine print legalisms if not to make things as complicated as possible, and probably damned near useless for anybody except Big Business.

    I’m of the opinion Right Wingers dislike gays, gay marriage, and will most certainly use any and all legislation they author to prevent any new “rights” and hamper/crimp any past concessions.

    Now to that hot water thing: unending propaganda has convinced most Americans that inviting more foreigners to come to the US is a great idea. I disagree. The US is the third most populous nation on the planet after China and India. Adding more people is nuts, because we’re not taking care of the citizens we already have. Until we can find jobs for the ones we have already; provide medical care for the ones we have already, adding to the problem is totally crazy.

  • S1AMER

    Actually, the GOP has been working for months to drive a wedge between the gay and hispanic constituencies of the Democratic Party. The question is, how will timid Democratic politicians (is that redundant?) react?
    A lot of Democrats, I suspect, are hoping SCOTUS will take the DOMA problem (and its consequences for immigration) off the table in less than two months. That would be fine, though I’d much rather see legislative safeguards now, lest the Supremes somehow rule against us.

    Of course, it’s unlikely none of this will matter, given the xenophobes among the House GOP, who would prefer going back to the immigration law of 1924, welcoming white Western Europeans, and throwing everybody else out.

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