Monday, May 13, 2013

Catch Up Blogging....

Okay...  I admit  I have been neglecting  the blog  for  the past  few weeks,  I  don't  really have a good excuse , other than  I just  wanted to take  little break and  see how  the world unfolded  while I wasn't    paying direct attention.   While I've been  away from the keyboard  there are been a few interesting developments...

Delaware, Rhode Island  both legalized  same sex marriage, and as I write this,  the Minnesota State Senate is in it's final debate on the legalization of marriage equality in that state.    Meanwhile  the right wing nuts of the American Taliban  have pretty much slouched in to petulant  depression over  the forward march of the civil rights of people they don't like.  Clinging to the hope that States with anti-gay constitutional amendments will form a firewall for the preservation of bigotry.

Matt Baume in San Francisco  brings us up to date...

Which of course brings us to  the other front in the Marriage equality fight, where pretty much Everyone is in waiting mode...  Waiting for the United States Supreme Court  to  issue  rulings  on two key  cases.  The  Perry Case, which will decide the fate of  California's  anti-gay  Proposition 8, and the Windsor Case, which deals with the constitutionality of  sction 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act  (DOMA).  Both rulings are expected  by the end of June.

All of which has groups fighting for immigration rights  for  bi-national  same sex couples hopeful that the demise of DOMA  will help clear at least one path  for couples like us  to  sponsor our spouses for immigration  to the United States.   The other path is the comprehensive immigration reform effort currently in mark up  with the Senate Judiciary Committee.   The bill  is  intended  to  provide for increased  border security, added  immigration enforcement resources, a pathway to legal status  for the more than 11 million undocumented  immigrants currently living in the United States, and lastly,  provide for immigration rights for the non-american partners in bi-national same sex unions.

All good things right?  Who could  have a  problem with that?  Certainly not the Republicans, who after getting  seriously  trounced in the 2012 election, couldn't possibly want to further alienate Latino voters by trying to kill the first real effort at immigration reform since 1986, just so they can appease what is left of their base?   Or do they?

Cue Rachel with  the oh so predictable and inevitable spectacle of GOP bigotry.

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Meanwhile my two favorite delusional wing nuts  Senators "Grampa Simpson"John  McCain, and "Waylon Smithers" Lindsey Graham, have respectively, gotten off his lazy-boy,  and poked his head out of his deep dark closet,  to claim that  any provisions for immigration rights for  same sex couples would "kill immigration reform".

Really?....  So just to be clear.   John McCain and his gal-pal Lindsey are willing  to  throw 11 million Latinos and Asians under the political bus, effectively ending any hope the GOP has of ever winning another national election,  just so they can show how much they hate same sex couples.

Wow... good luck with that one kids.    Oh wait,   here's the kicker.  That may actually work out for them, and get them what they want; Immigration Reform without any rights  for  same sex couples because... (wait for it....)  the  Democrats  have once again  seemingly forgotten they won the last election.  Now it is Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and MY own Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who are all too willing to trade rights for same sex couples in return for GOP playing nice.   John A, over at  Americablog  brings us all  the gory details.
Gay advocates had hoped that any immigration package would include the Uniting American Families Act, a bill that sought to put gay and lesbian couples on equal footing in the immigration system with heterosexual married couples. However, on Sunday afternoon, Sens. Schumer, Robert Menendez and Dick Durbin convened a conference call with gay rights groups to inform them that the legislation — at least the initial bill — will not include language to address LGBT concerns, a source familiar with the call told POLITICO.
They blamed it on the Republicans…. Schumer was very matter of fact about it, very Machiavellian,” said the source, who asked not to be named. Gay advocates were told that Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will offer an amendment in his committee to protect gay couples.
And in a classic first term-esque twister move,  the  Obama Administration  tries desperately  to  speak out of both sides of it's mouth on  this issue. Where words like  "bi-partisan" and "compromise"  once again  seem to mean,  "we are folding like a cheap card table, because we don't want the Republicans to be mean to us..."
To his credit,  Senator Leahy did  add two amendments the bill  incorporating  UAFA provisions into the bill.   It nice to see  at least one Democrat  who is willing to call the GOP's bluff, and make them choose between electoral  redemption and their own bigotry.

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