June 20, 2008
Jon Stewart messes up his vows
Posted by: Chris
The "Daily Show" skewering was just about as you'd expect in its "coverage" of the first same-sex marriages in California. My favorite was when Jon Stewart noted that Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, the first gay couple to wed in L.A., had a traditional Jewish ceremony -- and then imagined what it would be like for children to be raised by two Jewish moms.
That good fun along with the usual lampooning of conservatives and a funny bit on Sulu fencing shirtless can be found in the video after the jump.
But following Jon Stewart's opening riff, he pivoted to a conversation with correspondent John Oliver, dressed in a tux, who proudly announced he had gone "gay for America," getting married to a man to resolve his own visa issues and remain in the U.S. It turns out the joke's on him because his groom, "Daily Show" regular Jason Jones, is Canadian and likewise green-card minded.
Well, actually fellas, the joke's on us -- us being the thousands of gay Americans in relationships with foreign citizens. Not only are jokes on national television about fake gay marriages to get green cards decidedly unhelpful to our cause, they're also a gross distortion of reality. As we know all too well, marriage licenses issued to gay Americans and their spouses in California, Massachusetts, Canada or anywhere else have absolutely no effect on our spouses' immigration rights because they are completely unrecognized by the U.S. federal government. (In fact, they could get a partner on a temporary visa deported because it's evidence they intend to live here long term.)
All that's due, of course, to the federal Defense of Marriage Act -- authored back in 1996 by Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr, voted for by would-be Democratic veep Sam Nunn and GOP presidential nominee John McCain, defended to this day by former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and signed into law by her husband.
We "love exiles" know all too well that our partners will have no legal standing for immigration purposes based upon our relationships until DOMA is either repealed or struck down -- and Log Cabin pal McCain has said he'll back an amendment to the U.S. constitution banning gay marriage if the latter (or no doubt the former) should happen.
Or, Congress could enact the Uniting American Families Act, which gets around the marriage issue by allowing gay Americans in committed, long-term relationships to sponsor our partners for U.S. residence without requiring a marriage license. Of course, all those "Daily Show" only make that fight more difficult by suggesting straight foreigners will game the system by faking gay relationships for U.S. visas.
The reality is that most heterosexuals would it a lot easier and more palatable to fake a straight relationship, but we also know that reality is only an infrequent visitor to debates over gay rights and immigration -- much less the two together.
So thanks, Jon and Colin. With friends like you, who needs James (Dobson) and Pat (Robertson)?
Hat tip: Andoni
(Don't forget -- Jon Stewart's truly funny riff on California gay marriage follows after the jump.)
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