About two months ago, the Obama Administration announced that it would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act, the controversial act that restricts federal benefits for heterosexual couples. Since that announcement, Immigration Equality, a nonprofit based in Washington and New York that advocates in favor of gay immigrants, announced its plans to challenge the immigration law affecting same-sex couples.
As a New York Family Lawyer relates, gay couples face a conundrum when one of the two is a foreign national. They have to make hard decisions. Either the immigrant partner has to live in the shadows of America, hiding and becoming paranoid, or both have to move to a more accommodating country. The decision to leave your country of birth is a monumental leap, and some wonder why it should even have to be considered.
A NYC Family Lawyer shares that under current legislation, heterosexual couples can sponsor their spouse for visas or green cards. Recently, however, U.S. lawmakers reintroduced a bill that will allow gay Americans to do the same with their same-sex partners. The Uniting American Families Act was introduced in both the House and the Senate, and has the largest number of supporters it’s had since 2000 when it was introduced. While the bill has remained stagnant for the last decade, now there are 98 cosponsors of the bill in the House and 18 in the Senate. If passed, UAFA will allow Americans to sponsor their gay “permanent partner,” who is defined as someone who has the intention of maintaining a lifelong intimate relationship with his or her partner. Same sex marriage is on the agenda in counties like Brooklyn and The Bronx.