John McCain’s False Dichotomy

John McCain’s False Dichotomy February 7, 2013

President Obama’s framework for immigration reform includes a provision that gives gay couples the same rights in terms of immigration as straight couples. Sen. John McCain, who claims to favor immigration reform, says this is a good way to derail the deal by angering bigots.

“I think it is a red herring. I think then, do we want to guarantee a tax payer free abortion?” McCain asked in response to a question about the provision from Politico’s Mike Allen. “I’m telling you now, if you love this up with social issues and things that are controversial, the it will endanger the issue. ”

He added, “I’ll be glad to talk about, discuss it, what the ramifications are, but if someone does that as the most important aspect of comprehensive immigration reform, then we just have a fundamental disagreement.” “Which is more important, LGBT or border security?” McCain finally said.

But this is a false dichotomy. It’s not an either/or. You can do the right thing on both issues because the right thing is consistent. The only reason the inclusion of that provision would endanger the passage of the reform package is because bigots don’t like it. And a group of bigots, including Roman Catholic bishops and Southern Baptist preachers, have been lobbying to have it taken out.

“It’s an overreach,” said Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy and public affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which signed the letter. “Immigration is hard enough as it is and adding another controversial issue to the mix makes it even harder. I’m surprised the administration would risk sacrificing 11 million people over this issue. It’s very combustible.”

Translation: “That’s a lovely immigration reform bill you got there. Be a shame if something were to happen to it, God forbid.” There are almost 30,000 Americans in committed same-sex partnerships with people from other countries. They should be treated exactly the same as straight Americans in similar relationships.

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