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John McCain: Immigration Rights For Same-Sex Couples "Not Of Paramount Importance"

While Obama will include same-sex couples in his immigration proposal, the Senator calls it "a red flag." A potential roadblock to reform.

Posted on January 29, 2013, at 8:48 a.m. ET

Arizona Sen. John McCain said Tuesday morning that protections for same-sex immigrant couples are "not of paramount importance" as Senators craft a bipartisan reform framework.

BuzzFeed reported Monday night that President Barack Obama would propose reforming the current green card system to allow same-sex immigrant partners to receive the same treatment as opposite-sex ones. Asked about the report on CBS This Morning, McCain responded, "Well, it's something that frankly is not of paramount importance at this time."

"We'll have to look at it, we'll have to gauge how the majority of Congress feels, but that to me is a red flag that frankly we will address in time," he went on.

The issue of immigration rights for same-sex couples could prove to be among the most polarizing as Congress and the White House pursue comprehensive immigration reform. Including such a provision could alienate social conservatives, while liberal Democrats in the House, like Rep. Jerrold Nadler, are already applying strong pressure to include same-sex couples in any reform package.