One Equal World

McCain Calls LGBT a Red Herring

Posted on: February 11, 2013

At a Politico sponsored breakfast, John McCain made his priorities clear when it comes to immigration reform and LGBT rights. When asked if LGBT protections would be included in the new immigration bill, McCain scoffed at the very idea.


“I think it is a red herring,” he said, continuing on to say that adding it would be comparable to adding “taxpayer-funded abortion.” It’s likely that social issues will be what ultimately kills the bill.


Had McCain stopped there, he might have been free and clear, his remarks potentially aimed at directing attention to the fact that Republicans and Democrats are split down the middle on issues like LGBT rights and taxpayer-funded abortion. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to ask, “Which is more important, LGBT or border security? Huh? I’ll tell you what my priorities are.”


On the other hand, President Obama is stepping up his game and aggressively pursuing LGBT inclusive immigration reform. The legislation he proposed includes protections for LGBT people and families, something that will help keep all families together and not just heterosexual ones.


Too many LGBT people, especially immigrants, “are forced to live in the shadows of society,” said Rea Carey of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. This is especially true of immigrants seeking asylum from home countries that have outlawed homosexuality and enforce harsh punishments.


For example, in Iran there is only one penalty for being convicted of homosexuality: death by hanging. In 2009, the award-winning short documentary, “Iranian, Gay & Seeking Asylum” followed he lives of two Iranian men who were seeking asylum in the U.K. after their partners were captured and executed in Iran.


We may not have full LGBT equality in the United States yet, but at least our government doesn’t punish LGBT people with death. LGBT people in other countries don’t always have such protections. We are privileged here, and we should extend that privilege to others as well.




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