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Thanks for nothing, Kolbe

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Queer Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe (R) has a boyfriend from Panama, and co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act, which, if passed, would allow him to sponsor his foreign born partner for citizenship. However, the retiring legislator won’t work on behalf of the act. He said in an interview that it would “add baggage” to the immigration issue before Congress. (NY Blade):

“The immigration debate is so heavily laden and so fraught with so many issues that adding one like this into it is not terribly practical,” said Kolbe, one of the leading congressional Republicans setting immigration policy. “It adds baggage. It doesn’t help the debate.”

…But the proposal still needs an influential champion. As a leading Republican with the ear of White House policymakers, and as a gay man in a bi-national relationship, Kolbe has been viewed as perhaps the ideal public official to lobby for UAFA.

But Kolbe, who was first elected to Congress in 1984 and came out publicly in 1996, has rejected the notion that he is a “poster boy” for gay issues.

Being gay was not — and is not today — my defining persona,” he said in 1997 during his first speech to the Log Cabin Republicans. Kolbe first acknowledged his sexual orientation publicly after he believed the Advocate was ready to publish an article “outing” him after he voted in favor of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Hell, the man’s retiring, what’s he got to lose politically if he stands up for his partner’s ability to stay in the country!? It’s the ideal time to put a face — a Republican face — on the issue of immigration equality and he’s passing up the opportunity.

This is a crazy, self-loathing man.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding