Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Obama may be seeking gay immigration amendments delay
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2013-05-21

This article shared 2461 times since Tue May 21, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In a surprise development that has some LGBT activists angry, reports began circulating late Tuesday morning that the White House reportedly asked that the two LGBT-related amendments to the immigration reform bill be set aside, at least until the full Senate takes up the overall bill.

Many LGBT immigration activists were watching for the two amendments, both from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be offered Tuesday afternoon. But late Tuesday morning, Leahy surprised many when he stated that all the amendments from the Democratic side of the committee had been addressed.

While some thought perhaps he still intended to bring up his amendments, Associated Press released a report in the late morning, saying that "two people familiar with Senate immigration deliberations say the White House has suggested [to Leahy] that it would be best to put off a controversy over gay marriage until a bill goes before the full Senate."

AP said both sources spoke on the condition that its news report would not identify them.

An aide to the Judiciary Committee said Leahy and President Obama speak often but that Senator Leahy "does not discuss what they speak about in any given week." The White House also had no comment about the AP report Tuesday.

Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, said he did not know whether the report was true and would have no comment until after the Senate Judiciary Committee completes its mark-up of the immigration bill Tuesday night.

Steve Ralls, a spokesman for Immigration Equality, said the AP report "seems possible — though not yet confirmed - that Senator Leahy will be unable to offer the amendments for an up-or-down vote," and pointed to the lead Democrat on the immigration bill, Senator Charles Schumer of New York.

"We know that Senator Schumer remains uncommitted regarding a vote on the amendments, and has not pushed back on GOP Senators on the Committee who are making threats about the amendment," said Ralls. "Earlier this afternoon, Schumer would only say 'no comment' when asked if he would vote for the amendments."

Schumer is considered a strong supporter of equal rights for LGBT people, and he is a co-sponsor of a stand-alone bill, the Uniting American Families Act. The UAFA provides the language for one of Leahy's two gay-related amendments and seeks to allow a U.S. citizen to gain citizenship for his or her "permanent partner."

Schumer is also a leading member of the "Gang of Eight," a group of Democratic and Republican senators who drafted the overall comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 744) under consideration. Politico.com reported Monday that a May 10 "off the record" meeting between Schumer and a group of LGBT activists and elected officials grew "heated" over the issue. Politico reported that some "key Democrats have quietly pushed" President Obama to ask Leahy to delay the gay amendments.

The apparent motivation for any delay is that several Republican senators have threatened to derail the immigration bill if the UAFA language, and another amendment, are allowed.

The second amendment would treat as a "spouse" a person who has entered a marriage with a citizen that is "valid in the State in which the marriage was entered into."

Ralls added that Schumer and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) "assured our families" that gay-related protections would be in the immigration reform bill from the beginning.

"When the base bill was not inclusive," said Ralls, talking about the Gang of Eight's original draft proposal, "they assured us we would receive a vote in Committee. Now, they may be on the verge of breaking a third promise to LGBT families."

At a hearing last month on the proposed draft bill, former Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe urged members of the Judiciary Committee to "fix" the bill by adding language to help LGBT citizens with foreign partners or spouses. But neither Schumer, Durbin, nor Senator Dianne Feinstein, who also helped the Gang of Eight on the draft, said anything in support of adding gay-related language during the hearing. Meanwhile, several Republicans on the committee and in the Gang of Eight have been very vocal about their opposition to the gay-related language. As recently as May 13, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) issued a Twitter post saying, "If the Judiciary Committee tries to redefine marriage in the immigration bill they will lose me and many others." Gang of Eight member Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told politico.com last month that adding language to allow same-sex permanent partners to immigrate would "virtually guarantee" that the overall bill won't pass and undo the cooperative spirit of the "Gang of Eight" senators who put the bill together. And Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said last month at a forum, "if you're going to load it up with social issues, that is the best way to derail it in my view."

"If the amendments are not offered for a vote," said Ralls, "there will be bipartisan blame: On Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Jeff Flake for making threats and bullying colleagues to abandon our families; and on Senator Schumer, for refusing to stand up, in the face of that bullying, for his own constituents who desperately need him to cast his vote in their favor."

Others urged caution over the AP report itself. Liberal political blogger Greg Sargent, who writes in the Washington Post, wrote Tuesday that the unidentified sources for the AP report, "could represent Dems on the Hill trying to shift blame to the White House for what they themselves have decided is inevitable: Not voting the pro-LGBT amendments out of committee."

The reported effort to delay the gay-related amendments on the immigration bill came just one day after the White House announced it would honor the late astronaut Sally Ride, whose same-sex relationship was revealed after her death last year, with a Medal of Freedom Award, the nation's highest civilian honor. Also on Monday, the White House announced it would honor ten long-time LGBT civil rights activists and elected officials with "Champions of Change" awards Wednesday (May 22) in a ceremony at the White House.

© copyright 2013 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


This article shared 2461 times since Tue May 21, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Lives at Stake' virtual panel Oct. 19 2020-10-14
- On Monday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Rainbow Railroad, joined by the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Chicago chapter, will present a unique and timely virtual panel discussion entitled, "Lives at Stake: Implications of the U.S. Election ...


Gay News

Rainbow Railroad panel to discuss election implications for displaced LGBTQIs 2020-10-07
--From a press release - CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Rainbow Railroad, joined by the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, will host a virtual panel discussion Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m , CT, focusing on the life and death implications ...


Gay News

ICIRR, coalition of immigrant rights groups sue over the unlawful fee rule 2020-08-21
--From a press release - [Chicago] — The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) today announced that it has joined a coalition of nine of the nation's leading immigrant rights organizations in filing a lawsuit ...


Gay News

81,000 'Dreamers' identify as LGBT, 39,000 of them have participated in DACA 2020-06-18
- There are an estimated 81,000 LGBT Dreamers in the U.S., including 39,000 who have participated in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), according to an updated report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. ...


Gay News

NCLR cheers court ruling invalidating attempt to end DACA 2020-06-18
- WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Trump Administration's attempt to end the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides relief ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lawsuit against ICE, election items, Rufus Gifford, Puerto Rico killings 2020-05-04
- A coalition of LGBTQ and immigration activists filed a class-action lawsuit demanding the immediate release of all transgender detainees in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, NBC News reported. The ...


Gay News

COVID-19 First cases confirmed at ICE facility in Illinois 2020-04-10
- Chicago, IL — In response to the news of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Pulaski County Detention Center, community organizers with Organized Communities Against Deportations offered the following statement. "It was only a ...


Gay News

Trump administration suspends asylum processing, elected officials respond 2020-04-10
- Washington, D.C. — Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) issued the ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Ramirez-Rosa urges undocumented locals to apply for housing help 2020-03-27
- Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) issued a press release urging undocumented Chicagoans to apply for the city's COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant. The grant, announced March 27 by the Department of Housing and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, ...


Gay News

Exhibit examines works of refugee, immigrant writers 2020-02-19
- The American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan Ave., celebrates refugee and immigrant writers with its newest exhibit, "My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today," which explores the influence of modern immigrant and refugee writing on our ...


Gay News

Local deportation defense group calls for vigilance, reporting ICE, border patrol activity 2020-02-14
- Chicago, IL - This afternoon reports announced the Trump administration's intent to send Border Patrol tactical units from the southern border to sanctuary cities in order to support internal immigration enforcement operations. In response to this ...


Gay News

Reports: Tactical border agents to deploy to immigrant-welcoming cities 2020-02-14
- CHICAGO (February 14, 2020) — The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is issuing the following response to the New York Times report that the federal administration will deploy tactical border agents to communities like ...


Gay News

Children Born Abroad to Married U.S. Same-Sex Parents Are U.S. Citizens 2020-01-17
- (New York, NY — January 17, 2020) Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis this week urged federal district courts in Georgia and Maryland to compel the U.S. State Department to recognize the ...


Gay News

Lightfoot submits letter for refugee resettlement 2019-12-24
- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, on Dec. 24, submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of State consenting to refugee resettlement in Chicago and opposing federal policies seeking to limit refugee entry to the United States. The ...


Gay News

Historic Croatia ruling allows same-sex foster parenting 2019-12-21
- In a historic development, a court in Croatia ruled that a same-sex married couple—in this case, Ivo Segota and Mladen Kozic—can be foster parents, Total Croatia News reported. In addition, the Zagreb Administrative Court mandated that ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.