Jerrold Nadler is a Democrat Congressman who represents New York's 8th congressional district. This district includes the west side of Manhattan from the Upper West Side down to Battery Park, as well as the Manhattan neighborhoods of Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, and Greenwich Village and parts of Brooklyn.
Needless to say, Nadler is a "Progressive". Among his recent promises,Nadler has vowed to reintroduce the Freedom of Choice Act during Obama's term in office.
In February 2009, Nadler reintroduced the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) in an attempt to -
"amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships."
In other words, passage of the UAFA would allow gay and lesbian citizens (and permanent residents) to sponsor their alien "permanent partner" for entrance into the country or for change of immigration status while in the country.
The rationale behind the UAFA, is the idea that the current immigration laws are "unfair" and discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender (LGBT) Americans. The current laws, they say, keep loving family members apart......not allowing them to live together in this country.
The supporters of UAFA would have us believe that it is simply a question of "fairness". However, as one looks into the possible implications of the act, we see that fairness is not the issue. The act lists certain couples who would not be considered "permanent partners" and are therefore excluded.
Let's suppose we have an American citizen named.....Joe Citizen. Under the current law, if Joe were to meet and fall in love with an unmarried, female, non-American, he could, under certain circumstances, marry this woman and she could legally stay in the U.S., apply for a "green card" and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. However, under the current law, if Joe were to meet (and fall in love with) an unmarried, non-American male they would not receive the same treatment. The supporters of the UAFA consider this discrimination.
If the act were to become law, Joe American and his gay lover would be granted the same privileges as a hetero-sexual couple.
On the other hand, if the UAFA were law, Joe American and his gay lover would not be granted these privileges if it turned out Joe and his gay lover were "first, second, or third degree blood relations". Joe American would not be able to sponsor his gay lover if they turned out to be first cousins, or uncle and nephew or long lost brothers.
The UAFA recognizes that there are certain couples who should not be looked upon as "permanent partners". Obviously, they consider sex between relatives as inappropriate.
My question is this......if the supporters of UAFA can say that it is appropriate to exclude blood relatives (both gay and straight) from becoming "permanent partners" then, why can't we exclude gays (who are not related) as well ? I agree that a "permanent partnership" between two same sex relatives is not normal....but neither is a "permanent partnership" between same sex couples who are not kin.