Christian evangelist Rev. Samuel
Rodriguez, Jr. says including gay and lesbian couples in immigration
reform would be a “deal-breaker” for his coalition.
Rodriguez, the son of Puerto Rican
immigrant parents, founded the National Hispanic Christian Leadership
Conference in 2000 and sits on a board which advises the president on
issues of faith.
In an appearance on the Christian
Broadcasting Network (CBN), Rodriguez derided amendments filed
Tuesday to proposed immigration reform legislation by the so-called
“gang of eight” senators.
Both amendments seek to allow a gay
American to sponsor an immigrant spouse for citizenship, which is
currently not allowed pursuant to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“These two issues should never, ever,
ever, ever mix. Should never be mixed. Should never be combined,”
Rodriguez said. “It will dilute; It will fracture a coalition that
includes the Hispanic Evangelical Association, Southern Baptists,
other major denominations that have signed on to comprehensive
immigration reform, including the Catholic Bishop's Conference. We
will all pull out. So, is it a deal-breaker? Yes, it's a
deal-breaker.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Rodriguez added that he did not believe
the provision would be included in the final bill.
President Barack Obama earlier said
that he supports gay-inclusive language in the bill, but would not
rule out signing an immigration bill in which the provision is not
supports move to include gays in immigration bill.)