March 11, 2001
volume 12, no. 70

New Immigration Bill Gives Priority to Homosexual Partners

    NEW YORK (Family Resource Council from - Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has introduced legislation that would allow homosexual and lesbian U.S. citizens to sponsor their foreign sexual partners to become U.S. residents.

    The Permanent Partner Immigration Act would grant the same immigration priority consideration afforded to spouses and family members of U.S. citizens to the foreign partners of homosexuals and lesbians.

    Rep. Nadler said he opposed current immigration policy: "I thought I was doing something right for a few people who are being treated gratuitously cruel by the law. The United States is a great and wonderful country. It is sullied when the law acts in such a manner." Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) disagreed, calling the Permanent Partner Immigration Act an "off the wall" idea.

    The bill has stalled in the Crime Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the subcommittee, opposes attempts to extend rights for homosexual couples. Smith said that homosexual sex partners should not be given the same priority consideration reserved under law for family members and spouses of U.S. citizens: "Should this trend gain broad acceptance, the institution of marriage, our children and our society will bear the consequences."

    Other critics note that the proposed legislation includes requirements that are impossible to enforce, such as the stipulation that the homosexual couples have a "committed, intimate relationship" in which both "intend a lifelong commitment."

    The evidence indicates that lifelong monogamous homosexual relationships are a rarity. A study in the Journal of Sex Research, for example, found that only 2.7 percent of homosexuals had only one lifetime partner. By contrast, several marriage studies have found lifetime heterosexual monogamy rates of 70-80 percent.

    The bill would also contradict the logic of the federal Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996, which forbade the federal government from granting marital status and benefits to same-sex relationships.

    A recent Gallup poll found that 62 percent of Americans remain opposed to same-sex unions that allow the same benefits as traditional marriages. This suggests that President Bush and Congress would have little to gain politically from granting immigration rights to homosexuals similar to those enjoyed by married couples.

March 11, 2001
volume 12, no. 70
USA News
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