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Gay rights no longer immigration bill obstacle

From the Politico:

Gay rights no longer immigration bill obstacle

By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN and SEUNG MIN KIM | June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act settles a major unresolved issue in the immigration reform debate by clearing the way for gay U.S. citizens to sponsor foreign-born spouses for green cards.

The debate over including protections for gay couples had been one of the lingering tension points as the Senate nears passage of the landmark immigration bill. The federal law prohibited American citizens in same-sex marriages from receiving immigration benefits, including the right to assist their partners in applying for legal permanent residence.

But now, that potential obstacle has been completely removed from the immigration fight. Under immigration law, married gay couples would be treated the same way as other married couples and would face the same requirements as heterosexual couples for legalizing spouses who were born in another country…

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sought to extend that right to same-sex couples during the bill’s committee drafting process…

“At long last, we can now tell our families that yes, they are eligible to apply for green cards,” said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality. “Many of our families have waited years, and in some cases decades, for the green card they need to keep their families together. Couples forced into exile will be coming home soon. Americans separated from their spouses are now able to prepare for their reunion. Today’s ruling is literally a life-changing one for those who have suffered under DOMA and our discriminatory immigration laws.”

The ruling means that Democrats will avoid a floor fight over a gay rights amendment sponsored by Leahy, who said Wednesday that he would not seek a vote on it.

For a decade, Leahy has sponsored varying versions of the so-called Uniting American Families Act, which would extend immigration rights to same-sex couples. The legislation could affect as many as 36,000 gay couples, according to the advocacy group Immigration Equality.

“This is a huge day not only for the LGBT movement, but also for the immigrant rights’ movement,” said Jorge Gutierrez, coordinator of the United We Dream Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, in a statement.

Before Wednesday, 12 states and the District of Columbia allowed same-sex marriage. A separate Supreme Court decision on Wednesday declined to rule on the merits of California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage, which will likely allow the state to proceed with same-sex unions.

If binational gay couples live in a state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriages, they can travel to one of the states that do and still have their union recognized for immigration purposes, legal experts said…

Something tells us that they won’t have to bother to live in a state that has legalized same sex marriage.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, June 27th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Gay rights no longer immigration bill obstacle”

  1. God’s Judgement will be severe.


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