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Published On: Thu, May 23rd, 2013

Sen Pat Leahy retreats on attempt to sneak gay marriage in immigration reform bill

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy withdrew two amendments to immigration reform that would have provided protections and legitimacy to same-sex couples Tuesday night.

At the end of the committee’s markup of the Senate’s immigration reform bill, the Vermont Democrat announced he would withdraw his amendments “with a heavy heart” amid Republican threats to derail immigration reform if they were included in the bill by the committee.

photo  Julyo based on work by Gilbert Baker, 1979 via wikimedia commons

photo Julyo based on work by Gilbert Baker, 1979 via wikimedia commons

“I don’t want to be the senator who asks Americans to choose between the love of their life and the love of their country,” Leahy said when the committee began to consider his amendment.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the “gang of eight” that drafted the bill, warned that “the bill would fall apart because the coalition would fall apart” if the amendment was adopted. 

“It would be a bridge too far,” Graham said if same-sex marriage made its way into the final bill.

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake added, “It would certainly mean this bill would not move forward.” 

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin stated, “I believe that this is the wrong moment, this is the wrong bill.”

“If you redefine marriage for immigration purposes [by the amendment], the bill would fall apart because the coalition would fall apart,” Graham said. “It would be a bridge too far.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein cited Graham’s comments, then, saying of Leahy’s amendment, “I think this sounds like the fairest approach, but here’s the problem … we know this is going to blow the agreement apart. I don’t want to blow this bill apart.”

Leahy’s decision comes after weeks of pressure from LGBT-rights advocates who have sought an LGBT-inclusive immigration reform bill.

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    CONTEMPORARY AMERICANS – ESPECIALLY, YOUNGER ONES – DESPERATELY WANT TO BELIEVE RACISM IS OVER, AND WE ARE “ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY.”

    IF YOU LOOK AT A MAP OF THIS NATION IN REFERENCE TO STATES WHICH HAVE APPROVED SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, VERSUS THOSE WHICH HAVE NOT, IT RESEMBLES A MAP OF THIS NATION DURING THE Civil-War Era. “NOT ONE” SOUTHERN STATE HAS APPROVED SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. IF NEGROES IN SOUTHERN STATES ARE STILL HAVING PROBLEMS “GETTING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION TO WORK THEIR WAY,” HOW/WHY DO Southern gays BELIEVE THEY CAN GET ANYTHING ACCOMPLISHED?

    IN REFERENCE TO THIS LEGISLATION, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE ISSUE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BECAME ENTANGLED IN A BILL DEALING WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE “ROBUSTLY CATHOLIC” AND BELIEVE HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), SLAPPED EVERY MEXICAN IN THE FACE BY TRYING TO PUSH THIS AGENDA.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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