The Common Good

Gay rights plan seen as threat to immigration bill

Date: May 8, 2013

Religious leaders said Wednesday that adding a gay rights proposal to immigration legislation could risk their support for the bill, setting up a potential Senate showdown.

"We're extremely hopeful that this bill will remain an immigration bill and not get tangled up with the issue of gay rights," said Richard Land, a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention. "But if it did, if it did, the Southern Baptist Convention would not be able to support the bill."

Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, labeled the gay rights provision "a divisive distraction that must not derail immigration reform."

Added Jim Wallis, head of the Christian social justice group Sojourners: "This is the wrong place at the wrong time" to deal with the issue of gay marriage