Sen. Leahy (D-VT) Wants To Add Gay Couple Protections To Immigration Bill

May 7, 2013 12:46 p.m.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Judiciary Committee scheduled to mark up bipartisan immigration legislation on Thursday, has filed an amendment that would allow same sex couples to sponsor their partners for a visa.

“For immigration reform to be truly comprehensive, it must include protections for all families,” Leahy said in a statement. “We must end the discrimination that gay and lesbian families face in our immigration law.”

The bipartisan group of Senators who wrote the immigration bill decided against including the provision in their draft as its Republican co-sposnors  warned it would spark a fatal backlash from social conservatives. But Democrats, immigrant, and gay rights groups have agitated for its inclusion and supporters think it has a good chance of making it onto a final bill through the amendment process.

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