On December 11, Immigration Daily commented on the alliance between immigration rights supporters and gay rights activists in the effort to overturn the invidious discrimination in the Defense of Marriage Act's (DOMA's) ban on recognizing same sex marriages for immigration purposes, an issue that is now up before the Supreme Court.*
This issue could also be looked at as a battle between two of America's most revered poets on one side. and perhaps its best known sitting Supreme Court Justice on the other.
First, Emma Lazarus on immigration:*
"Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore./Send these, the tempest - tossed to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door." (From The New Colossus)
Next, Walt Whitman on gay rights:
"We two boys together clinging/One the other never leaving/Up and down the roads going/North and South excursions making/Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching/Arm'd and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving," (from Calamus)
Now, on the other side - Justice Antonin Scalia on immigration:
"To the contrary, two of the Constitution's provisions were designed to enable the States to prevent 'the intrusion of obnoxious aliens through other States'." (from Justice Scalia's dissent in Arizona v. United States)
And Justice Scalia on gay rights:
"Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is a product of a law profession culture, that has largely signed onto the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct."(from Justice Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas).*
America now has to choose between equality and respect for human rights, or a long history of prejudice against both immigrants and same sex couples. Which side will prevail? Which side are you on?
Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.