No Republicans, No News
The UAFA-related blogosphere is alive with reports of the bill being re-introduced into Congress. This will seem like a wet blanket, but my jaded response is… so what?
The bill (and its predecessor) has been introduced into every subsequent Congress since the year 2000, and it has never come close to passing. To be fair, every year support has increased, and in the last Congress, the 111th, we garnered more co-sponsors than ever before. We were told by Democratic leaders that in order to get a floor vote in the house, we would have to show the support of a majority of the ruling (then-Democratic) caucus. In the 111th Congress (2009-2010) there were 255 Democrats in the House, a majority of which would be 128. We reached that number on Sept. 16, 2011. Did we get our floor vote? No, not even by the end of the session, at which time we had accumulated a record-breaking 135 co-sponsors.
It’s no longer the Dems who need to be convinced. We will NOT get our basic human rights until we start to convince Republicans — whether right-wing, Tea-Party, or “moderate” (if such a thing still exists). It’s a simple game of numbers.
Please note that none of this is to disparage the incredible hard work of so many (and of a few organizations, such as Out4Immigration and Immigration Equality) over the years. Their efforts do matter and have mattered — without them, we would be nowhere. But until you have right-wing Republicans feeling comfortable with supporting full equal rights for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, we will remain nowhere (or, sadly, stranded in some godforsaken distant country or worse, separated from our loved ones).
It is time to start preaching to the nut-cases, folks. Without them, we’re lost.