Rubio: Gay rights amendment would 'kill' immigration bill
June 13th, 2013
03:02 PM ET
9 years ago

Rubio: Gay rights amendment would 'kill' immigration bill

(CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio flatly stated Thursday that he'll vote against his own immigration bill if it ends up including rights for gay and lesbian couples.

"If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm gone. I'm off it," he said. "I've said that repeatedly. I don't think that's going to happen, and it shouldn't happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is."

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont proposed such legislation this week, filing an amendment that would require the government to recognize same-sex marriages in which one spouse is an American.

"Seeking equal protection under our laws for the LGBT community is the right thing to do," Leahy said in a statement announcing the measure.

It's unclear whether the Senate will vote on the amendment, but the proposal virtually has no chance of winning the 60 votes almost certainly needed to clear the 100-member chamber.

The senator first proposed the legislation when the Senate Judiciary Committee marked up the bill last month. With vigorous opposition from some Republicans and some Democrats saying they wouldn't support the amendment, Leahy ultimately withheld his proposal.

Rubio, who made his comments Thursday on a conservative radio show hosted by Andrea Tantaros, also warned that he'd withdraw support from the bill if the final version lacks tougher border security provisions–a refrain he has consistently pushed in recent days.

"If the border situation is not improved in this bill, this bill won't pass," he said. "It won't pass the Senate, and it has no chance in the House. It won't become a law. We're wasting our time."

Filed under: Immigration • Marco Rubio • Pat Leahy • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "Why should he or anyone else be wallowing in it? Both sides have crass political motives with this legislation, which does not negate the fact that its one of the few truly bipartisan attempts at legislating in years. Its a pity that both sides are chossing to kill a good piece of legislation because they are more interested in playing to their bases ( again) than in attempting to resolve a problem."
    If the Republicans wish to kill the bill, then don't give them any reason to blame it on Democrats. Rubio painted himself into a corner when the bill came out of committee, and he practically disowned it the same day. He came out with a hit list of amendments that should have been introduced and negotiated in committee. Instead, he wanted to grandstand and get a reflexive, knee jerk response from the Democrats, which is EXACTLY what Leahy is doing.

    It's too early to introduce this legislation. Let Rubio find his own way out of his quagmire. No life lines.

    June 13, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. ArizonaHeat

    This bill ought to be about two pages long, seal the boarder. Set up a system where those already here can apply for a "resident alien" card towards citizenship.
    The rest is political pork getting stuffed into the barrel. The politicians only care about their careers, the citizens just get in the way.

    June 13, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine


    "Hate to agree with the anchor baby, but he's right. This has no bearing on immigration."

    Really? Provisions in an immigration reform bill that would ensure that gay married couples are treated in exactly the same way as breeder married couples in terms of immigration status...that has "no bearing on immigration"? Interesting.
    Stick to what can pass: you know damn well the bill will fail if the amendment is added. Now is not the time to be doing this, not with something this important.

    June 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess he doesn't consider the need to have everyone be respected and treated equally under the law.

    June 13, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Matt

    Yea let's put two of the most contentious political problems in the country today together on one bill. That'll make sure everything goes smoothly

    June 13, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Wilson

    They won't do it, but they don't need to waste their time on this bill. All that has to be done is impose large fines on companies/business/people that hire illegals, and enforce the current laws on the books. Nor more immigration problem and huge sums of money not wasted.

    June 13, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Sniffit


    "Hate to agree with the anchor baby, but he's right. This has no bearing on immigration."

    Really? Provisions in an immigration reform bill that would ensure that gay married couples are treated in exactly the same way as breeder married couples in terms of immigration status...that has "no bearing on immigration"? Interesting.
    No, not yet. Now is not the time. Wait on it. Let Rubio finish walking his plank. Don't throw him any life lines."

    Huh? How am I throwing a lifeline to Rubio by pointing out that Leahy's amendment has everything to do with immigration and that attempts to pretend it doesn't are silly? Rubio's been riding the fence and scrambling to find excuses to back out of immigration reform for a long long time now, and so much the better if he does because it will damage him badly. The only people who will accept his inane excuses are the people who would already be likely to vote for him in the first place. Everyone else will recognize it for the partisan pandering it is....and that's including his attempts to say "I'm not backing out because of the gay thing, but because the gay thing will make it unpassable." That's the most insipid semantic-game rationalization nonsense I've seen in months. Rubio, all along, has wanted to appear an immigration reform hero without having to actually pass anything that really reforms the system, because the GOP/Teatroll base doesn't really want to pass anything that would actually reform the system....they just wanted an excuse to demand a border fence complete with crenellations and turrets.

    June 13, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. just sayin

    so what do all the hispanics say??? scrap the bill unless we can have the gay amendment??? I doubt it! they could care less!! wake up hispanics!! you are being played like an old fiddle by the democrats.

    June 13, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. just askin

    funny... i don't see a lot of hispanics out there demonstrating for gay rights. this looks like the democrats way of killing the bill and trying to blame it on others. playing off the hispanics, against the gays, against the republicans. yes, the democrat party, the party of divisiveness no matter how you cut it. why do you think the country is such a mess 5 years after the recession ended?

    June 13, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. JPX

    Wow, the intolerance of the GOP is astonishing. Keep bashing minorities, GOP. Obviously they learned nothing from their landslide loss last November. Why is the GOP so afraid of gay people?

    June 13, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
1 2