I Love to Pass Immigration on the Back of LGBT People…We Fight On!

By Isabel M. Estrada Portales
It was sad; honestly, it was disgusting to realize that one of my dreams was on the way to come true at the expense of the dreams of so many others. I know I’m being exceedingly optimistic in assuming that the immigration bill is about to become law, but it certainly inched closer…and who cares if same-sex couples can’t be together after all?
I hope that the Latino and all the immigrant community scream bloody murder. There is nothing more unjust that accomplish a fiat against one type of discrimination and injustice through the enforcement of another type. Or are we saying that families should be together unless they are same sex families? Kids need to be with their parents, except if they happen to be gay? I’m sure, as we have seen with the children of same-sex couples whose plight so impressed and moved Justice Kennedy, if we actually gave a voice to the children of same sex couples divided by our wondrous immigration system even Scalia would have to fight back tears – well, yeah, exaggerating just a bit here.
I guess I’m getting older than I thought, since now I’m thinking that we need to move forward with the bill, despite this glaring, vulgar inequity, and iniquity. Yes, we do, because otherwise this will be a ready excuse for Republicans not to move on immigration at all. On the other hand, since we still don’t have equality on most federal books they also have a valid legal rationale.
That is why we – Latinos, immigrants, and equality champions everywhere – should also continue the other fight, in the American soil, for full equality for the LGBT community. Once DOMA – I always have this tendency to misspell this acronym as DUMB…must be Freudian –, and other statutes that limit the rights of LGBT people are finally vanquished, whatever ends up passing for immigration will have to apply to all, since those would be the federal laws. Then, we will have arrived to a more perfect Union.
The part of me that hasn’t matured yet feels we should stand our ground and tell South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham to take a hike. Let’s just ignore the opinion of the rest – although, we sadly don’t have the majorities to do that – and don’t move until we get what we want. Where is Rafael Correa when you need him? Well, ironically, in this Rafael Correa would be with the extreme right, against same sex’s rights. As someone said the other day: revolutions are coming ever more conservative.
My hope resides on the fact that, as Patrick Leahy withdrew the amendment to add protections for same-sex couples “with a heavy heart,” there was near silence in the packed Senate hearing room.” I want to believe it was a guilty, ashamed, ‘we’ll right this wrong’ silence… and that famous arch of history will bend towards justice one day…soon.

As I always tell my children, yeah, it bends towards justice, but it does take darn long!

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