Staver et al Threaten to Withdraw Support For Immigration Reform Over Domestic Partners

Last month a handful of Religious Right leaders banded together and announced their support for a “just assimilation immigration policy” that contained a pathway to citizenship for those already in the country. 

The group, consisting of Mat Staver, Richard Land, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Ken Blackwell, and Lou Engle, was trying to break away from the knee-jerk right-wing opposition to comprehensive immigration reform and the temptation to scream “AMNESTY!” any time a pathway to citizenship was proposed. 

Alan Colmes had Staver on his program to talk about this effort and, at one point, asked him why he was willing to show so much compassion for immigrants but so unwilling to show similar compassion to gays.  Staver responded that the immigration issue was complicated enough and didn’t want to get into that conversation and go off track.  

Which is interesting, considering that today this same group of Religious Right activists issued a statement saying that any effort to cover “same-sex domestic partners” in immigration reform legislation “will cause religious conservatives to withdraw their support”:

“A flawed immigration policy and the failure of the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws pose serious threats to our national security and domestic tranquility,” said Mathew Staver, Founder & Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Any potential consensus for key aspects of immigration may quickly be set back by partisan politics and special interests,” Staver continued.

Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) proposed immigration bill includes a provision for same-sex domestic partners. President Barack Obama supports the objective of this provision, despite the fact that inclusion of domestic partnerships will kill any immigration bill. The provision in Schumer’s bill, like the proposed Uniting American Families Act, will treat same-sex domestic partners like spouses in a marriage, thus making way for a foreign same-sex partner to become a legal citizen because of the relationship to a U.S. citizen. Despite the fact that homosexual groups estimate that the domestic partner provision will benefit only about 36,000 people, Sen. Schumer and President Obama still support the measure.

The undersigned question whether President Obama and Sen. Schumer are more interested in pandering to special interest groups than they are to the pressing needs of immigration. “Same-sex domestic partnerships will doom any effort for bipartisan support of immigration and will cause religious conservatives to withdraw their support,” Staver warned. “If same-sex domestic partnerships are included, the immigration bill will have no chance of passing,” Staver said. We call upon the President and Congress to secure our borders, enforce the law, and pass a Just Assimilation Immigration bill. We urge our elected leaders to put the interest of America first and stop the political posturing.

The following evangelical leaders affirm this statement on Immigration: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Dr. Richard Land, President of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel; Lou Engle, Co-founder, The Call to Conscience, and more.