Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that any amendment added to the immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate that would grant more privileges to illegal immigrant same-sex couples would lead him to vote against a bill he helped to create.
“If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill,” the Florida Republican said while appearing on the “Andrea Tantaros Show.” “I’m gone, I’m off it, and 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,” Rubio told Tantaros’ talk radio audience.
Rubio’s shifting loyalty to the bill, which legislators hope to reach a decision on before their July 4th recess, has been well-publicized in recent weeks. One of the main sponsors of the bill from its birth, Rubio has since announced that he may still vote against it if he is not satisfied with the final form that it takes.
The amendment in question was introduced by Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who defines it as an anti-discrimination measure. The amendment would recognize “for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act, any marriage entered into in full compliance with the laws of the State or foreign country within which such marriage was performed.”
Leahy’s proposed change to the bill would allow for same-sex partners of current illegal immigrants to apply for a green card in the same way that spouses of the opposite gender would be able to.
Leahy previously proposed the amendment to the Senate Judiciary Committee before the bill was brought to the full Senate for debater and voting.
Leahy withdrew the amendment when it became clear that including it would rob the bill of Republican support it needed to get out of committee. He vowed since then that “the fight for equality must go on.”