It was apparent that he knew this issue well. He took some time to explain that same sex immigration is going to be a very difficult one because it combines two of the most controversial issues Congress faces, gay rights and immigration. (I heard this from Barney Frank two years ago as well.) Obama also said that to tackle it we were going to have to establish a vehicle to recognize gay couples.
Obama's understanding of this issue is pretty lousy, and must contribute to his perception of "difficulty."
Presently, the Uniting American Families Act (or UAFA) would make immigration equality happen for both same-gender couples AND opposite-gender couples who choose, for religious, personal or other reasons, not to get legally married.
So here's a simple, easily implemented plan for Obama to pursue on this issue:
1) Talk to Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker, and get the Democratic Whip to get all Democrats to sign on to support UAFA. Ask Pelosi to allow the bill out of committee. The bill, supported by all Democrats and a number of Republicans, would easily pass the House.
2) Introduce identical companion legislation in the Senate. As a senator, Obama can do this, and ensure there's no "committee" necessary to reconcile differing pieces of legislation in the house.
3) Have Harry Reid instruct all Democrat Senators -- who have a majority -- to vote for the bill. A number of GOP senators support the bill as well.
4) If President Bush vetoes it, attempt to get a veto-proof majority, which could possibly be achieved for the bill. If a veto-proof majority is impossible to get, commit to signing the bill if elected president. Then, simply repeat the use of the Democrat majorities in both houses and sign the bill as president, after campaigning on a committed platform for UAFA.
It's not that real action on immigration equality is "difficult," it simply requires Democrats to actually walk the walk on gay issues. Since Democrats typically cannot be bothered to make legislation on gay issues happen -- except when it's anti-gay legislation like DOMA and the anti-gay military policy -- the difficulty is not theirs, but that of 40,000 binational same-gender couples divided or exiled due to Republicrat duplicity on this issue.
Sorry, Barack, but "feeling our pain" ain't good enough. We heard that often enough from Bill Clinton over 16 years ago. It's time to listen to Lee Iacocca and either lead or get the hell out of the way.