WASHINGTON – Press reports this week indicate that a small minority of senators are threatening to derail immigration reform if it includes a provision allowing an American citizen’s foreign-born same-sex spouse the ability to become a citizen, just as straight couples are now allowed to do.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said he was outraged by the exclusion threat.
“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 body that refuses to come together on popular and common-sense solutions to a host of our country’s problems," Griffin said.
“When examining the facts, it is clear that LGBT equality is not the controversial, hot-button issue that a handful of legislators portray it to be. Marriage equality continues to advance in the states and polls show super-majority support for everything from workplace non-discrimination laws to anti-bullying protections. Moreover, 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," he said.
“This bluster is nothing more than a political maneuver designed to divide the pro-reform coalition and at the same time appease a small but vocal group of social conservatives that will do anything to stop progress for lesbian and gay couples. The LGBT community will not stand for Congress placing the blame of their own dysfunction on our shoulders,” Griffin said.
There are an estimated 1 million LGBT adult immigrants, of which about two-thirds are documented and one-third are undocumented — and an estimated 32,300 LGBT binational couples in the U.S. today. With these dramatic numbers in mind, HRC has made comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform a top priority.