A press release on the bill from the group Immigration Equality quoted Sen. Leahy as saying:
The promotion of family unity has long been part of Federal immigration policy, and this bill promotes that principle by providing all Americans the opportunity to be with their loved ones. Our immigration laws treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships as second-class citizens; this injustice needs to change. It is the right thing to do for the people involved, it is the sensible step to take in the interest of having a fair and consistent policy, and I hope that Congress will act to help demonstrate our Nation's commitment to equality under the law.
Rep. Nadler is quoted as saying:
Our bill recognizes that American families come in all shapes and sizes. Our laws should work to keep loving families together and not tear them apart. This is a matter of basic fairness and compassion. I am proud to work with Senator Leahy on this issue. We simply ask that gay and lesbian Americans in loving, committed relationships receive the same treatment as everyone else.
Both men are correct, of course, and it’s a law change that’s way past due. However, I doubt very much it will pass and, if it does, Bush will certainly veto it. He ran two elections attacking gay and lesbian Americans, so I personally can’t imagine that concepts of “fairness” and “equality under law” would persuade him to do the right thing. I mean, when was the last time he cared about doing the right thing about, well, anything?
If this law had been in effect in 1995, there’s no telling where we might be living now. For us, things worked out for the best, but we should have had the same choice as other binational couples where one partner is an American citizen.
But let’s get real here: This is only one of hundreds of ways in which the