For months now, I have been warning that the same congeries of ideological interests that perceived no difficulty with the HHS mandate would potentially derail immigration reform by using it as a vehicle to secure federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Huffington Post finally has caught on and has the story here.
It is my hope that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, most of whose members support front door recognition of same-sex marriage, will go to the LGBT lobby and explain that they need to back off from any insistence that immigration reform include same-sex couples. First and foremost, the Supreme Court will be weighing in on same-sex marriage by the end of the year and no one knows what they will decide. Obviously, if they uphold the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, it is difficult to see how same-sex couples could be included in immigration reform. (I should add that I think the Court should strike down DOMA on federalism grounds.) But, more importantly, during the debate on health care reform, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wanted to include undocumented workers within the bills provisions but, recognizing that such an inclusion would kill the reform effort, they held off, they set aside their particular interest on behalf of the common good. They have unique moral authority, then, to go to the LGBT lobbying groups and say, "We will help you get federal recognition of same-sex marriage, but please do not complicate our efforts to get immigration reform passed." Let's hope they do so.