Former Arizona Congressman set to marry partner this weekend

May 14, 2013

Former Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe will marry his partner of eight years in Washington, D.C. this weekend.

Kolbe, who served southern Arizona in Congress for 22 years, says it’s unfortunate the state doesn’t recognize same sex marriage. The 70-year-old Kolbe publicly disclosed in 1996 that he was gay and says he has been with Hector Alfonso for eight years.

Last month, Kolbe appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to argue in favor of including the partners of gay Americans in the immigration bill proposed by the so-called Gang of Eight—which includes Arizonans John McCain and Jeff Flake. Kolbe focused on the challenge and cost of arranging an innovation visa for Alfonso, who had to leave the country for a year because his prior visa had run out.

The proposed inclusion of same sex couples in the immigration legislation has prompted some backlash. One member of the Gang of Eight, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, had said he couldn’t support the bill if it had LGBT provisions.

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