Gay Rights Advocates Owe Immigration Reform Supporters a Pass

Gay Rights Advocates Owe Immigration Reform Supporters a Pass


Last week’s historic advancing of a landmark immigration reform bill created a “tit for tat” moment among minority and gay allies when gay rights piggyback amendment was put on the backburner in the interest of securing support and eventual passage of the overhaul measure.

And the “ask” isn’t too much, considering…

Each time gay marriage or gay rights issues come up for debate in the courts, many Hispanic and African Americans changed their avatars to a pink and red version of the logo of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group, the Human Rights Campaign. The NAACP and La Raza adopted organization resolutions formally approving gay marriage after a recent federal court overruled the Defense of Marriage Act which denied gay couples equal federal benefits as heterosexual couples.  A Huffington Post/NBC News poll found that 60% of Hispanic Americans surveyed agree gays should be allowed to marry. Last May, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that people of color are more likely to support gay marriage than whites.

It’s hard to recall times in history when gay-rights advocates openly rallied with a similar amount of fervor causes that would benefit these minority groups solely.

Rather, there is actually a fractured history with African Americans, with some not appreciating gays equating their struggles for equality with those Blacks faced historically and still do today.

Then we come to last week.  While the country was focused on the Oklahoma Tornado and other catastrophic incidents in the world, a Senate judiciary panel quietly passed the massive immigration overhaul legislation presented by 8 senators led by Florida’s Marco Rubio. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Noticeably absent from the version passed to the full Senate to consider is the provision that would afford same-sex couples rights granted to hetero married couples in the bill.

The amendment’s sponsor Sen. Patrick Leahy  (D-VT) pulled it last minute out of concern that it would be a poison pill and lessen the number of Republicans to favor the overall measure once it reached the House of Representatives later.

So alas, there created a fragile friction among allies: Hispanic and Immigrant advocates and Gay Rights Advocates.

There is talk of president Obama inserting rights after the bill passed via Executive actions, similar to how he deferred deportations of young children of undocumented people in 2012.

Perhaps that would be a solution those pushing the gay rights agenda can deal with, but until then or some other compromise is reached, they owe immigration reform proponents one.

Sit back, chill and don’t mess it up.


  1. I never can understand why it is people like the author of this article refer to gay rights as the “gay agenda”. Don’t African Americans and Hisapanics (two other groups she mentions) have their own agenda? Come to think of it, don’t we all have an agenda? But I digress: I think the author’s logic is a bit suspect: instead of gay people stepping aside and being the only group not to be accomodated by immigration reform…maybe Republicans should give ALL people inclusion in immigration reform…instead of excluding just gays. After all, we call ourselves a democracy don’t we? Or does the author think that immigration reform is the domain of only those “without an agenda”? LOL

    • You are trying to pinpoint some underlining prejudices you think I hold by using the word “gay agenda” but an agenda is but an itemized list of things one wants accomplished whether in a meeting or as policy. Can you deny that among that agenda is 1. an interest to have as many states as possible permit Gay marriage; 2. an overruling of DOMA; and 3. all the rights and protections afforded by law and policy extended to gays as well, be it immigration law, harassment, hate crimes, VAWA?

      And again, I didn’t see you come on here to comment on my piece before this one about Blacks wealth going down? Where were you to support other pieces of legislation or activity that benefits Hispanics only? No where to be found. And that is the point you miss.

      Many in the gay rights advocacy circle have already conceded that is it best not to muck up a benefit for 11M+ for a very small group. As I state in the article, there are ways for that small group to be given the same benefit later down the line. That is a small price to pay considering I am yet to see Human Rights Watch or any other Gay Rights Organization adopt any resolution formally that benefits Blacks or Hispanics alone. Nothing on the double percentage rate unemployment of AA, Nothing on Arizona laws that would target Hispanics. So…this minor “ask” is owed.

      • Respectfully disagree. Please do NOT say gays “owe” illegal criminals anything-that is distasteful to a group OWED eqaulity for decades. Gays are CITIZENS and their rights should supercede the “rights” of illegal immigrants. It is insulting to the millions of gays who pay taxes, who have fought and died for their country. Let the bill die without the gay provision. Gays are tired of waiting for the GOP to come around! . Would you have been cool with an immigration bill 50 years ago that left out blacks sponsoring their foreign partners? be honest

  2. I very strongly disagree with the point of this article. I doubt the author would hold the same stance if the bill excluded certain races or nationalities. Bigotry, in any form, should never get a ‘pass’.

    • Well, I don’t see the point in bringing up hypotheticals that are not realistic as Race is a protected class and Sexual Orientation is not.

      In many occasions, before I have opened my mouth or done anything to reveal my sexual orientation, I have been discriminated against bc of my race and there is a long history in the US that acknowledges that and the case law, legislation and policy would not permit a law that excluded race. And even to have a law that benefits one race, there are laws that make it very difficult. But that is a digression from the issue at hand.

      Despite what you write, I think it is unrealistic and idealistic to say if the few Gay immigrants that want to benefit for Immigration reform cannot get a benefit then to hell with the other 11M+ — especially when there are mechanisms that could be used later to provide those few the same benefit. In our history of politics, that is how a lot is accomplished – thru delayed gratification, compromise and a gradual chipping away. It’s never an all or nothing game.

      Finally, I do not think that someone who opposes homosexuality based on their religion is a bigot. I think they are being true to their faith. It is bigoted to tell someone to sacrifice their religious belief bc public perceptions and acceptance is changing when they still are committed to their Religious faith and principles. What should happen though is Religion and Faith should be removed from Government and policies to solve the problem of laws being limited bc of lawmakers’ religious beliefs.

      But that is a conversation for another day.

      • come on-that’s disingenuous. The law discriminates in most states against gays (for now), but that is no reason to say blacks are protected under the law and gays are not so lets dismiss the argument-your own prejudice is leaking through, ma’am!
        And your last point is terribly misguided. Religious views are based on faith and upbringing (i term it religious brainwashing) so to base any morality viewpoint that singles out a group of millions as less than yourself, is raw bigotry. Religion can never be used to excuse bigotry. We don’t need to “respect” bigoted views-thats absurd!
        You do admit that the religious who think being gay is wrong think that gays are less than straights, right? they view gay couples as less tahn straight couples and less deserving of rights under the law. What is that except the very defintion of bigotry?

      • and no one is telling the bigoted religious masses to give up their beliefs-we just DEMAND they be removed from the public discourse when discussing policy-no place there! you do know that religious bigots viewed blacks as soulless and it a sin for them to marry whites because of religious beliefs, right? would it be bigoted to counter those “sincerely held beliefs”?

  3. I really love it when people tell me to “chill it” if I demand equal rights.
    But I’m used to dealing with those people, and I have no intention of “chilling” anything.

    • it’s especially shocking to see a black woman saying it-imagine the backlash if someone told blacks that wanted to sponsor a foreign partner to wait for their own bill!! OOOOhhh, but blacks are a protected class so it’s cool to only do it to gays

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  6. […] Gay Rights Advocates Owe Immigration Reform Supporters a Pass – Last week’s historic advancing of a landmark immigration reform bill created a “tit for tat” moment among minority and gay allies when gay rights piggyback amendment was put on the backburner in the interest of securing support and eventual passage … […]