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Obama To Leahy: Lets Put Off LGBT Immigration Battle

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont

In a not so surprising move, it appears that President Barack Obama has suggested to Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy that it would be in the best interest of all involved parties if the immigration reform bill currently before the Senate were put off for the time being. At least until the bill goes to the full Senate.

While President Obama backs the proposal from Senator Leahy which would grant equal treatment to lesbians and gays in binational relationships, he is not likely to veto a bill that does not include such measures.

Doing so would only delay rather than scuttle the chances of having the provision in the bill, and may delay any vote on the provision until after the United States Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. That law is what inhibits LGBT binational couples from obtaining the same rights as opposite-sex binational couples.

Leahy has not indicated if he will delay a vote on the provision until it heads to the full Senate. Even if he delays it now, he can introduce it as an amendment to the bill before the full Senate. Leahy, though, has a unique amount of influence right now over the process given that he is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The provision is unlikely to survive in the House of Representatives where the opinion of the American people as a whole is less important to House Speaker John Boehner than the money flowing into GOP coffers from the anti-gay Right.

President Barack Obama may be choosing to delay the fight in order to avoid it all together. Should the Supreme Court overturn the portion of DOMA that governs federal recognition of same-sex marriages, this fight would be moot, and this would give him a lot more leverage to get the bill through Congress.

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