LGBT Advocates Hammer Senate Dems Over Gay-Inclusive Immigration

As Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) appear ready to throw gay-inclusive legislation under the bus, advocates are reacting furiously.

SchumerRichard Socarides, writing in the New Yorker, suggests that Schumer's behavior teaches the world that gays are not as deserved of equality as everyone else, and therefore he is sending that signal to those who might harm us:

It may not be fair to connect the historically thorny debate over immigration reform and issues of employment discrimination to the horrific and fatal events of this weekend in Greenwich Village. No one is suggesting that opposition to civil-rights protections for gay Americans is an open endorsement of hatred. But when our national leaders have a debate about whether or not to treat gay Americans the same as everybody else, it sends a powerful message that perhaps gays are not entitled to equality. Why not? Is the argument still that they are not as good as other citizens or that they are engaged in some immoral or otherwise improper behavior—that they shouldn’t be walking around openly at night?

The people who commit hate crimes get the idea that their victims are fair targets from somewhere. The movement for gay rights may in fact have some “political power” behind it now, as Justice Roberts also went out of his way to point out, but gay Americans do not have equality, and they still can and are targeted for discrimination and violence every day, even on the streets of Greenwich Village.

FeinsteinAnd Lavi Soloway unleashes at The DOMA PROJECT:

Despite hearing from tends of thousands of constituents in recent weeks, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) have not budged. They will refuse to vote for either amendment, and as a result, Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, will likely not call either of his LGBT amendments (the one based on the Uniting American Families Act, which I helped write 14 years ago, or his historic and unexpected Marriage Equality “DOMA Carve Out” exception) for a vote knowing that the amendment will fail to garner the necessary 10 out of 10 Democratic votes to pass out of Committee.

The betrayal of our community by Senator Schumer who voted for DOMA as a member of the House and fought for gay votes when he ran for Senate despite HRC’s controversial endorsement of his incumbent opponent, Republican Alphonse D’Amato, is appalling to put it mildly. After all his promises to fight for LGBT inclusion, he has signaled day after day that he won’t upset the bipartisan Gang of Eight applecart. Dianne Feinstein, who, 35 years ago, became Mayor of San Francisco after the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk, has once again failed to provide leadership when the going got tough. Her leadership on the repeal of DOMA (Respect for Marriage Act) notwithstanding, this was the moment that counted. This was the moment that required courage and leadership. The most vulnerable members of our community relied on Senator Schumer and Senator Feinstein to stand up for us and end decades of catastrophic and irreparable harm to our families caused by DOMA and our exclusion from US immigration law.

Today, it seems clear, they will betray us.


  1. RMc says

    I will not give one dime in tax dollars to this fascist government, which chooses to say f@#k you to some tax payers just to appease the selfish bigotry of some anti-gay maggots, until they stop this anti-American throwing under the bus of LGBT tax paying American citizens. Since I own my own business I reserve the right to tell this nasty government to go f@#k itself, life off your religious-reich and stop leeching off of me.

  2. Rick says

    And so, yet again, the Democratic Party–and the political Left–demonstrates that they believe they can take the support of gay people for granted and therefore are free to shaft them whenever it serves their purposes to do so.

    They only support gay rights when a) public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of their doing so (as with DADT repeal), and b) the concerns of all other constituencies have been addressed and none of them object to the support of gay rights… other words, when they have absolutely nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing so…..and even then, they drag their feet (DADT repeal would not have happened but for the efforts of a Republican, Susan Collins, and an independent, Joe Lieberman, when the Democrats were ready to let it die and emphasize other bills in the lame-duck session in which it passed)

    Sadly, the gay Left will prove that the Democrats are right about being able to take their support for granted even when they get shafted……by continuing to give them money and votes…..and so the Democrats will continue to do as they always have done.

    This is what happens when a group of people ghettoizes itself in one political party….and it has ever been thus. You Far Left activists have made this bed for yourselves and we will all suffer because of it.

  3. keating says

    Schumer is a complete tool of Wall Street so I am never startled by his lack of courage on anything. Feinstein is more of a surprise. Both of them insist that they are trying to keep immigration reform on track. Well, guess what? When immigration reform goes down in flames (as it surely will in the House), Schumer and Feinstein will look even more gutless.

  4. jamal49 says

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if two Senators from two states with three, large gay-friendly cities who have leaned on those gay voters to help elect them to the Senate will decide to stymie immigration reform if it has gay-inclusive provisions?

  5. melvin says

    They aren’t leaders or thinkers or heroes or philosophers or anything else. They are politicians with all the soul of a cash register. Politicians respond to pressure and threats to their standing. It is simply crazy to expect them to respond to anything else, like morality or reason.

  6. Rick says

    “yes Rick, the Republicans have done wonders for gays”

    Not the point. There is something to be said for refusing further financial contributions and turning out the vote for a party that considers you to be nothing but whores.

    At the same time that you take advantage of changing public opinion–among Republicans–to at least build bridges to them and attempt to convince them that they have more to gain at this point by supporting gay rights than they have to lose by not doing so.

    But when all you do is berate anybody who suggests either of those approaches (the LCRs are regularly blistered with criticism here for even trying to build bridges to the other party), as the Far Left regularly does, you cut off any possibility of us having any leverage……and this kind of situation is what results from that.

    It is just political common sense that groups that have all their eggs in one basket are going to have those eggs crushed on a regular basis……

  7. Lars says


    Is their intransigence premised on an assumption that DOMA will be overturned next month? In the absence of DOMA, would the explicit inclusion of LGBT families in the immigration act become redundant?

    I’m just trying to understand how they hell they can justify this ridiculous neglect for equal protection under the law. They must be spinning some sort of line for us…I’m waiting to hear what it is.

  8. LetSodomRing says

    This bill already contains tons of far more substantive compromises and concessions just to get the Republicans on board. And their cooperation is necessary for this to pass at all. The inclusion of same-sex couples would sabotage this bill completely. And for what? That provision would be made redundant in a month when DOMA Section 3 is struck down. Are you whiny rich white citizen types so impatient you can’t wait one more month? What’s the rush? Afraid your foreign boy toys will leave you without the promise of a green card to hold them hostage? Newsflash: it’s likely that the Supreme Court ruling will come down before immigration reform passes.

  9. PE says

    Sorry Rick, I only have 2 choices to pick; the very anti-gay Republican platform and the lesser anti-gay Democrat party. Until there is a viable Homosexual Political Party, I will stick with the lesser anti-gay Democrats. Politics run the world, there is no way to escape that.

  10. sundayboy says

    I don’t trust the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA anymore than I trust Schumer to stand up for the gay community now.

    It’s repulsive and completely disgraceful that in 2013 that we are still consigned to obscurity as a suspect class by a Democratic leader!

    DO NOT FORGET THIS. If Schumer can not deliver for our community he needs to step down as a public servant.

  11. StevyD says

    Rick, there are two groups who are trying to change Republican minds. GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans. What have they achieved in their attempt to fit into the Republican Party? Not very much since they aren’t even allowed to attend major party functions. So how do you change a party that doesn’t want you as members?

  12. Jack says

    Time to Primary Schumer. He needs to go and New York shouldnt be putting up with him anymore.
    Schumer has never been a good ally to the gay community. It’s time that he leaves the Senate.

  13. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Rick,

    New York State offers us an example of the electoral strategy you might be suggesting. Marriage equality passed through the New York State legislature in 2011 with a fair number of Republican legislators voting in favor. They should be rewarded with support. If gay voters in New York contribute to Senator Schumer’s defeat in 2016, the worst-case scenario is that he would be replaced by a moderate New York Republican who is no more anti-gay than Schumer. The best-case scenario is that Schumer would be defeated in the Democratic primary by a better candidate. Strategically, this plays out well in any case.

    Please note, Rick, that this is only possible in those areas of the country, like the Northeast (which you have regularly insulted), where the local Republican Party base will accept gay rights. Since you, Rick, have been so free in insulting the Northeast, I guess it’s my turn. If anyone suggested your new strategy of using the Republican Party to advantage in a state like GEORGIA, I would laugh. Republicans in Georgia are as likely to support gay inclusion in an immigration bill as they are to sprout wings and fly to the moon. If any commenter suggested using this strategy in Georgia, I would tell them to go back to whichever sorry-ass part of Georgia they slipped out of and stay there. Keep in mind, RICK, that my example about Georgia is purely hypothetical and in no way refers to any specific commenter at Towleroad. Honest.

  14. Jase says

    Rick that is SO not your lesson to teach, considering you support/defend Republicans who are an outright anti-gay party.

    You’re a hypocrite and an idiot. Truly.

  15. rroberts says

    I’m not at all surprised by Feinstein’s position.

    In 1982, a domestic partnership law was adopted and passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, but Dianne Feinstein, mayor of San Francisco at the time, came under intense pressure from the Catholic Church and subsequently vetoed the bill. Not until 1989 was a domestic partnership law adopted in the city of San Francisco.

    I know. I was there. But you can read it here:

  16. Pete N SFO says

    When Gavin Newsom ordered San Francisco to start issuing licenses to gay couples immediately following the court decision in Massachusetts, Feinstein had a full week to prepare a statement.

    She said, “it’s too much, too soon.” And along w/ many Dems, threw Newsom under the bus. And THIS from a supposed ‘ally’ of the gays.

    They need to be challenging the other side and force them to defend treating some Americans differently. And, they need to shout out every court decision that has supported our position as they do it too.

    This woman held commitment ceremonies in her own f’n backyard… 35 years ago!!! She really is a pol of the worst kind. Despicable. If this happens, I will NEVER forgive either one of them.

  17. Aaron says

    I read this story with so much sadness. I moved to Mexico 6 days ago with my husband (been together 14 years) while we wait for a ruling on DOMA. I feel so alienated by the US policymakers. I never imagined a life so far away from the rest of my family and friends. But I love my man.

  18. Gary says

    These bills die because of Republican opposition. These Senators and Congressman have constituencies. The mistake is to believe that Democrats can get everything done for us. Before we castigate anyone who can’t deliver on command, recall when gays had no legislative influence at all.

  19. jean says

    iam gay of drcongo i fled persecution in drcongo my country because of im gay i came in cameroon i believe in cameroon we accept the homosexuality or i can not do because of law of cameroon is 5years in prison and punished severely by autority the population likely menace to kills and beats lesbian and gay can help me to lthe cameroon to exile in usa or canada

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