Thursday, June 04, 2009

Senate Considers U.S. Citizenship for Foreign Homosexuals

Senate hearings were held yesterday by Senator Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) on his bill S. 424, now co-sponsored by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), to provide "permanent resident status" for alien partners of American homosexuals as if they are married.

UPDATE 6/11/09: H.R. 2709 companion bill moves through House

Illinois residents, click here to E-mail Sens. Durbin & Burris and also click here to E-mail your congressman

-- From "Bill Proposes Immigration Rights for Gay Couples" by Julia Preston, New York Times, 6/2/09

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Democrat from Vermont who is the powerful chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is adding another controversial ingredient to the volatile mix of an immigration debate that President Obama [and now, also Senate leader Harry Reid] has said he hopes to spur in Congress before the end of the year.

Mr. Leahy has offered a bill [the Uniting American Families Act] that would allow American citizens and legal immigrants to seek residency in the United States for their same-sex partners, just as spouses now petition for foreign-born husbands and wives.

Senator Leahy’s bill would add the term “permanent partner” to sections of current immigration law that refer to married couples, and would provide a legal definition of those terms.

. . . immigrant advocacy groups and labor organizations are opening a nationwide campaign . . . Small-scale rallies took place on Monday in Los Angeles and some 40 other locations, and immigration groups are converging on Washington on Wednesday for three days of strategy meetings.

President Obama has invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the White House next Monday to “launch a policy conversation” about immigration, an administration official said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Same-sex couples fight for immigration rights" by Mallory Simon, CNN 6/3/09

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill for the first time Wednesday, after 10 previous attempts to have hearings on the Uniting American Families Act. The bill has 102 co-sponsors in the House and 17 co-sponsors in the Senate, including Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council which opposes same sex marriage, has condemned the bill as "yet another attack on marriage at the expense of U.S. taxpayers."

"Although Leahy frames the policy as an anti-discrimination measure, the truth is, this weakens our federal law and chips away at the unique status of marriage," Perkins wrote in a blog on the group's Web site.

"For the federal government to recognize homosexual pairs in any way, shape, or form is a violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act."

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, who is openly gay, is a co-sponsor of the House version of the bill, but thinks it should be part of a larger immigration reform measure, according to his spokesman, Harry Gural.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.