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John McCain and Senate Democrats outbreak of homophobia over immigration bill

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Republican Senator John McCain
Republican Senator John McCain

In a truly shocking moment of high handed arrogance, Senator John McCain announced this morning that granting immigration rights to legally married gay couples was not 'a matter of paramount importance' to him, or presumably anyone.

Well, it may not be a terrific surprise that a rich old white Republican man can't bring himself to think of gay people as his social equals, but I can tell you it's a matter of  'paramount importance' to the tens of thousands of pointlessly separated gay couples whose legal marriages are still rendered meaningless by the pointless Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

McCain's casual bigotry, unthinkingly expressed, is precisely why he lost the presidency in 2008. McCain still calls a move toward equality for gay people a 'red flag.' But it's liberty and justice for all, not just for some, Senator McCain.

Frankly, McCain is of the generation of elderly conservatives who can not and will not see the common humanity that he shares with the gay people whose lives and fondest hopes he is so casually consigning to the waste bin.

Instead he is playing to the GOP's evangelical base and hoping to fracture Democratic resolve, and he's being successful at it.

McCain's Democratic colleagues in the senate have failed to call him out for his hostility to gays, because they don't have much to crow about themselves yet.

On Monday the bipartisan blueprint produced by group of senators for comprehensive immigration reform contained no provision for bi-national same-sex couples, despite the years long push among LGBT advocates to include such language in immigration reform.

This is shameful. It's political cowardice.

Read more: Immigration reform advocate Chuck Schumer says 2013 year Congress ‘finally gets it done’

Senators Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez and Michael Bennet may still not understand that the time has come to include longstanding gay couples in a reform bill but thankfully President Obama clearly does.

It is past time for Senate Democrats to use the tactical advantage they have to their clear advantage - Republicans are desperate to show Latino voters they support reform. They are desperate for a successful bill. Now is the time to move all bills forward.

It's beyond disgusting to watch Republicans and some Democrats still play politics with people's lives over immigration reform for gay couples, as though it were 1983 and not 2013. The time for these risible theatrics is over.

Frankly we expected more from Senate Democrats and we will hold them to account if they walk on sensible reform now, when their hand has never been stronger. 

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