Immigration | News

Gays and Lesbians in the Cold on Immigration Reform Bill

The "comprehensive" immigration reform bill introduced this month does not include gays and lesbians.

Gutierrez "The lawmaker said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who has led the House effort on comprehensive immigration reform, initially 'didn’t want to deal with it. At all.' Then he tried to work out a 'stupid' compromise whereby the same-sex partner provisions would be in the bill but they wouldn’t take effect for five or six years, said this Member. ..Gutierrez denied that he wanted to keep gay and lesbian language out of his bill. 'That’s just not true,' he said, pointing to his long-standing record of supporting the gay community. The real issue, he said, is that same-sex partner matters have not come up in past immigration reform debates and people are still figuring out how to bring the two camps together. 'There has never been a serious, in-depth discussion between the gay and lesbian community and the immigrant community. It’s never existed,' Gutierrez said. 'It’s a new conversation, but not one that I’m fearful of. I welcome it. But you can’t expect after nearly two decades of struggle for a new component' to be quickly embraced."

An amendment with a same-sex provision has been proposed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) who noted that a repeal of DOMA would alleviate the issue.


Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said she was 'very frustrated' because she 'wanted to see a bill that was comprehensive. But we deal with political reality here.' Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who earlier this year pronounced a DOMA repeal 'dead' this Congress, predicted it will be 'a very, very hard sell' to attach the same-sex provision to the immigration reform bill.

Gutierrez released a statement to the Windy City Times: "The process I am committed to being a part of in Congress will, I hope, address the unacceptable situation that lesbian and gay bi-national couples live under every day. … Everyone's goal should be a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes a commitment to all families and honors our history as a nation of immigrants. That is my goal, and it is inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, too."

The paper adds: "Gutierrez also noted his support for the Uniting American Families Act, which would let U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their gay and lesbian partners for immigration to the United States. That measure received a local boost in support last week as the Chicago City Council passed a resolution, introduced by Aldermen Tom Tunney and Daniel Solis, urging its passage in the House of Representatives."

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  1. It never ceases to amaze me how these politicians lie through their teeth, and expect us to buy their lies. Screw them, screw Obama.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Dec 27, 2009 2:02:10 PM

  2. "Political Reality" means once again we get fucked without lube or condoms.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 27, 2009 2:04:19 PM

  3. Political reality? HA HA HA HA...that's like saying they live in candyland. It's whatever you want it to be, or are willing to make a deal for. That's all politics is...bartering.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 27, 2009 2:04:41 PM

  4. Would y'all listen to what Luis is saying, please?

    "There has never been a serious, in-depth discussion between the gay and lesbian community and the immigrant community. It’s never existed,' Gutierrez said. 'It’s a new conversation, but not one that I’m fearful of. I welcome it. But you can’t expect after nearly two decades of struggle for a new component' to be quickly embraced."

    No, Luis Gutierrez (who has taken on the President regarding immigration and health care) is not afraid of a conversation like this and, to some extent, these conversation have taken place in the Chicago area. Indeed, it's probably these house queers like Baldwin and Frank that are afraid of this conversation.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 27, 2009 2:17:40 PM

  5. What this bill means is American citizens with same sex (foreign born) partners will not be included but people currently in the US illegally will be.

    As an American citizen living exiled in France for the last 4 years with my partner of 15 years this news is an absolute outrage! How can illegal immigrants be placed "in front" of American citizens?

    Same sex bi-national couples were led to believe we would be included in this legislation but we were thrown under the bus again.

    Heterosexual couples simply need to be engaged to get a visa for their foreign born partners while same sex couples have no options. Same sex couples only have 2 options (1)MOVE to another country or (2)SEPARATE.

    Posted by: InExile | Dec 27, 2009 2:21:43 PM

  6. I would also like to add that Rep. Luis Gutierrez said he supports the Uniting American Families Act but what he doesn't say is that bill has no chance of passage unless it is included in Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The UAFA has been introduced in every Congress for the last 10 years and goes nowhere.

    Posted by: InExile | Dec 27, 2009 2:31:37 PM

  7. While rights of the most critical value we consider inherent and plain, many of our fellow citizens may require a more personal reference. What about a add-on to the health bill that stipulates only religious ceremonies documented in the talmud or torah will be recognized as "married?"

    Posted by: Philip | Dec 27, 2009 2:38:34 PM

  8. I am completely sick of living in this backwards, homophobic country!

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 27, 2009 2:51:30 PM

  9. I’m in a bi national relationship now. The political reality is the democrats are afraid of the right wing and the church! The real deal here is it’s a gay issue. If it wasn’t a gay issue it would have been passed a long time ago! (Uniting American families act)
    I’m about to be living in exile from my country, I’m going to have to live in Asian because the country that I once loved and cared about doesn’t give a rats ass about me! So I’ll close down my business put people out of work all because the people that say they stand for civil right don’t or should I say they don’t stand for gay rights. We have a president that is mainly all talk when it comes to gay rights. There are groups like the HRC and Immigration Equ that are mainly after our money and that’s it, throw the dog a bone now and then make them happy and get more money from them.
    InExile said it like it is!
    Luis Gutierrez is just chicken shit to take this on, every gay person and people in a bi national relationship should write him and give him a piece of there mind.
    I’m just sick to my stomach with this government land of the free and brave, ya right, just try being gay in this country.

    Posted by: roy B | Dec 27, 2009 2:51:46 PM

  10. I am sympathetic to the notion that adding provisions protecting GLBT couples could be a poison pill for what is an important bill.

    I am also frustrated that we are effectively not included, but the political process is a very real thing, and we are only beginning to work it for anything beyond the narrowest of legal protections.

    He's absolutely right that this community does need to do more outreach and address topics of concern to the broader community. We haven't had a strong voice in healthcare or immigration reform or urban redevelopment or education policy (save some library books).

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 27, 2009 3:04:24 PM

  11. Well...let's not forget that "the right wing and the church" ain't too keen on immigration issues either. Gutierrez called Obama out because of Obama's apparent capitualation on the immigration issues as regards health care (in the House version, illeagals can pay into their own insurance, but not in the Senate bill).

    Let's face it... at times, our community does a piss poor job of working in coalitions with other groups. The gay and immigrant communities have a common enemy here (and, to the extent that there are gay immigrants, the 2 communities have commonalities).

    Gutierrez is also one of the sponsors of the DOMA repeal bill that will languish in the House...

    Now you can say that Gutierrez is "a chicken shit" all that you want. (Incidentally, Gutierrez is a Puerto Rican, I believe, and most of his constituents are Puerto Rican).

    Have the conversation THEN bitch if things don't go your way...

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 27, 2009 3:05:39 PM

  12. "There has never been a serious, in-depth discussion between the gay and lesbian community and the immigrant community. It’s never existed..."

    Maybe because the immigrant community doesn't know enough english to have a convo with. Just sayin'.

    Posted by: Kyle | Dec 27, 2009 3:07:47 PM

  13. So all these politicians, including the LGB ones, recognize that there is a very real need to address these issues, but all they do is get frustrated?

    Wow, wait until November when we will hopefully "frustrate" them even more by voting their sorry behinds out of office!

    Posted by: DR | Dec 27, 2009 3:27:08 PM

  14. I would like to urge everyone to sign the petition on to express our disappointment that LGBT Families were not include in Rep Gutierrez's bill and urge him to accept amendments to add LGBT Families back into his bill. The link for the petition is:

    Posted by: amos | Dec 27, 2009 3:38:23 PM

  15. We need to oppose this bill and make sure it sinks like a rock. New rule: gays no longer support Democrats based on future promises.

    Posted by: Alex 02139 | Dec 27, 2009 3:39:17 PM

  16. "There has never been a serious, in-depth discussion between the gay and lesbian community and the immigrant community."

    That's infuriating.

    1. So what if there hasn't been a discussion? You can't have "comprehensive" immigration reform if you intentionally leave people out.
    2. Whose job is it to make sure LGBT people are included? LGBT people have been talking about the need for this reform for decades. The blame does not rest with LGBTs.
    3. Any so-called "immigrant community" also includes LGBTs, whether they choose to respect them or not.
    4. Why should the biases of the "immigrant community" be used as an excuse to deny LGBT immigrants their rights now?

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 27, 2009 3:43:49 PM

  17. Dave
    This man is chicken shit! It’s a gay issue and it’s an immigration issue. By not adding the Uniting American families act into it, or adding a way for us to sponsor our loved ones he has slammed the door on over 35,000 plus gay couples waiting!
    Tell me why I’m legal married in Canada and about 19 other countries and not this one? I’ll tell you it is chicken shit Politian’s that are afraid to take on the crazy right wing, the church and the republican party that they only know how to spread hate. That’s why.
    The uniting families act is all written up and sitting in committee waiting for someone with balls to bring it to the floor for a vote. So don’t tell me we need to talk more about it, it has been talked about and talked about.
    Chitown Kev
    “Illegal’s can pay into their own insurance” In Canada a foreign person working or going to college there can buy into the system so why not here?
    "There has never been a serious, in-depth discussion between the gay and lesbian community and the immigrant community. It’s never existed..." Yes it has and it’s called the Uniting American families act, for the last 10 years it has been talked about!
    So what this guy is Puerto Rican that has nothing to do with the Uniting American families act or adding us the bill he wrote, the plane fact is, it’s gay and because it’s gay it’s never going to be added. Remember the bill is all ready written and ready for a vote on the floor.

    Posted by: roy B | Dec 27, 2009 3:46:59 PM

  18. The Dems don’t want change. They want to get reelected. This is why they don’t touch anything of “change”, they are afraid of “change”. Change is just a word.
    The question is can they be reelected? Can they even get reelected.

    I live in a binational relationship with all its complications.
    If I compare politics here in Germany and there in the US… I am shocked how much American politics are influenced by the church, big industry and money. Nothing gets moved, nothing gets changed, nothing gets done. It is amazing how American politicians cling to power and they even say so: we won’t touch this issue because elections are close.

    Again American gays and lesbians have to realize that they are only second or third class citizens (as one commentator wrote that illegals have more rights than American gays and lesbians).
    It is important to say that the Democrats allow this injustice to happen.

    I am not convinced that the gay/lesbian immigration problem is new: Rep. Jerold Nadler, Sen. Leahy among many other politicians in the past have sponsored bills and ideas. All the gay/lesbian groups HRC… have lobbied Washington – or have they been absent on that matter???

    Posted by: Martin | Dec 27, 2009 3:47:25 PM

  19. Uh, the politicians understand English quite well, otherwise they would get elected...

    And as I stated, the Senate HCR bill forbids illegal immigrants from even doing that; Gutierrez has been all over Obama on the immigration/HCR issue.

    Ok, if the bill is all written, get 218 votes in the House and 60 votes in the Senate.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 27, 2009 4:00:52 PM

  20. Let me add...

    I think we have 218+ votes in the House for immigration reform with UAFA. We don't have 60 votes in the Senate.

    And Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to move on anything that won't move in the Senate.

    And I damn sure don't think that Obama will help in any way with this...

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 27, 2009 4:06:58 PM

  21. Is anyone really shocked? The conversation hasn't taken place b/c most people wish the gays (who represent liability to them) would just go away.

    These pols need to 're-frame' all these issues as human-rights, not 'gay' or 'straight' or 'immigrant' or whateva!

    Get a backbone, pussies.

    Posted by: stephen | Dec 27, 2009 5:00:27 PM

  22. Lets contact our representatives in Congress and tell them that we don't want them to support this immigration bill unless it includes UAFA provisions. The only way we will get what we want is if we keep on the backs of our representatives! And we need more support, our numbers aren't great enough, get your friends and family to call/write as well. We need every voice we can get.

    Posted by: Sandy | Dec 27, 2009 5:06:23 PM

  23. Chicken shit?
    Gutierrez has 100% SCORE FROM THE HRC

    Typical. The "hi may i help you" name-tag, wearing, bitter and entitled white gays at Towleroad instantly launch racist attacks and blame Guttierez.

    The problem isn't Guitterez. He's supporting LGBTs on ENDA, hate crimes, DADT, DOMA and everything. The problem is LGBT groups haven't coalitioned with immigration groups, and, of course, many (white) gay men feel they don't need to.

    You queens are pathetic. You expect everyone to help you and when they don't you are only too quick to play the race card.

    FWIW, I'm Puerto Rican and really could care less about a few white gay men who want to get citizenship for their Brazilian and Argentine boy toys. And my BF is a gorgeous black American man. These comments are the reason why many if not most of us would never date you Beckys.

    Posted by: Xavier Deron | Dec 27, 2009 5:08:14 PM

  24. >>>"There has never been a serious, in-depth discussion between the gay and lesbian community and the immigrant community. It’s never existed..."

    Maybe because the immigrant community doesn't know enough english to have a convo with. Just sayin'.
    Posted by: Kyle | Dec 27, 2009 3:07:47 PM

    Which "Kyle" are you, hon?
    The "Soup or salad" Kyle in Chelsea?
    The "Towels are Aisle 8" Kyle at the Linens N Things in Boystown?

    Either way, I doubt used done much outreach to Latino immigration groups or politicians, who have been very supportive of LGBT rights.

    Oh and sucking off Puerto Rican trade off Craigslist does not qualify as "outreach: to immigration groups. Just a thought, hon. Just a thought.

    Posted by: Xavier Deron | Dec 27, 2009 5:18:31 PM

  25. His SCORECARD is NOT 100% when he is pushing to legalize millions of illegal Mexican people and throwing gays under the bus at the same time. This is NOT comprehensive.

    If gays are not included, we should fight against this bills passage.

    Posted by: InExile | Dec 27, 2009 5:27:22 PM

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