Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a
Democrat from Nevada, has expressed his support for including gay
couples in immigration reform.
During an appearance Sunday on ABC's
This Week, Reid told host George Stephanopoulos that he backed
President Obama's proposal to allow a U.S. citizen the ability to
seek a visa for a spouse “on the basis of a permanent relationship
with a same-sex partner.”
Under the current law, a gay American
cannot sponsor an immigrant spouse for citizenship due to the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents the federal government from
recognizing their marriage.
want Obama to drop gay couples from immigration reform.)
“The president said he wants gay and
lesbians to be able to have a family preference,” Stephanopoulos
said. “Senator [John] McCain has said we shouldn't come up with
legislation for what he calls social issues.”
“If we have gay folks in this country
who have children, or they come from some other place they should be
protected just like any other child,” Reid said.
“That's the position the Republicans
are saying that's too heavy to lift.”
“If they're looking for an excuse not
to support this legislation, this is another one,” Reid said. “But
the American people are past excuses. They want this legislation
passed.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
recently acknowledged that the bipartisan plan currently being
offered does not address the inequity.
“It's something that frankly is not
of paramount importance at this time,” McCain said.