Yesterday, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) held a hearing on the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow gay nationals to bring their foreign partners into the United States on the same basis as straight couples. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the only Republican who bothered to show up, grew impatient during the testimony of Shirley Tan; she faces deportation back to the Philippines, though her partner of 23 years and her children are American citizens. The New Republic reports that Sessions mocked Tan’s child for crying:
[O]ne of Tan’s children started crying within seconds of the start of her testimony. … For most people, the sight of a 12-year-old boy in tears at the prospect of his mother being deported halfway around the world would invoke some sympathy. Unmoved, however, was Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, ranking minority member of the Committee and the only Republican to bother to attend the hearing. At the sight of the weeping boy, according to a Senate staffer who was at the hearing, Sessions leaned towards one of his aides and sighed, “Enough with the histrionics.”
Watch the video here (though you cannot hear Sessions’ remark). Sessions opposes the bill because, he said, it would be “providing an additional avenue for abuse of the marriage preference for immigration into our country.” Perhaps he’s listening to his top aide, Brian Benczkowski, who compares gay marriage to pedophilia and bestiality.