There are many causes that are important to me, especially those related to education and opportunity for young people. But the cause that speaks most closely to me is immigration equality. A citizen of the United States can marry a foreign national of the opposite sex and sponsor his or her immigration to the US and eventual citizenship. In fact, a citizen of the United States can sponsor the visa for his or her unmarried partner of the opposite sex so long as they get married within six months of moving to the US. But because of the federal government’s “Defense of Marriage Act“, I cannot sponsor Tawn for immigration to the US even though we have been together more than a decade and been legally married in a US state more than a year.
The sad thing is, most American citizens (including gay ones) are not aware of this. Many people, both conservative and liberal, to whom I’m explained this nuance of the law find it disturbing because it goes against Americans’ general sense of fair play: laws should be consistent for all citizens. But for me, because I’m gay, there’s a double standard. Immigration laws do not afford me the same rights and privileges as those of my married and even unmarried heterosexual fellow citizens.
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i did not know this. frankly, i’m not surprised that a law like this is in place. alot of people have no idea how difficult and cumbersome the whole immigration process is. there are many pockets in that department that leave open the possibility for sanctioned discrimination. has there been any more word on this law going past the appeals level?
Gah! How frustating for both of you Chris. I am so sorry. I wish there can be a happy end to this dilemma.
*sigh* I just wish life were easier. I agree this is completely unfair and plain wrong. But how does one get it changed?
Well, I guess this ‘double standard’ works against us. If not for this ruling, I’d have have married and neutralized another Thai long ago too!
Hopefully, things will change.
@ThePrince – A very narrow portion of the Defense of Marriage Act has been challenged in the federal courts in Massachusetts, however not the portion related to immigration. That portion was about same-sex spouses of federal employees being eligible for the benefits that opposite-sex spouses of federal employees are eligible for. The first round went fine but of course the government will appeal it and eventually it will get to the Supreme Court.@murisopsis – @ZSA_MD – There are currently a few potential paths to reform. One is if the Massachusetts court case winds up before the Supreme Court and they deside to throw all of the Defense of Marriage Act out. Even if they rule in favor of the plaintiffs and decide some portions are unconstitutional, it is unlikely they will scrap all parts of the law including the immigration provisions.A more likely path to reform is through either the comprehensive immigration reform proposals, which have been written (at least initially) to address the issue of same-sex couples who are denied immigration rights, or else through the more specific “Uniting American Families Act”. More information can be found here.@CurryPuffy – I know you would have. What a mess, huh?@Dezinerdreams – Let’s hope so. Certainly there are many, many countries around the world that have a long way to go in this regard. But the United States holds itself up as such a bastion of freedom and equality that this is one huge fly in that ointment.
I’m not surprised to know about this law, however I’m sure it will change…just when…?
When is your anniversary? Mine is in 20 days. I have been celebrating since The 1st.
I was unaware of that discrimination. I had wondered about it but left my mind. But I will write to everyone of our representatives and senators. The bias here is deep and one that calls for continued fighting – not physical. Congrats on the length of your marriage. It has been noticed that the gay marriages or commitments on average last longer than heterosexual marriages of the same era. I guess there is more and more that needs to be done. If there is a problem with sponsorship for visa – let me know. I would be happy to do that for you.
I look forward to the day when gays have exactly the same rights as the straights in this country, and I support such legislation.
@Fatcat723 – Thanks for your offer, Rob. The only problem with sponsorship for a visa is that I legally cannot sponsor Tawn as a same-sex partner. Keep the pressure on your legislators and let them know this kind of discrimination isn’t okay.@everyday_yogi – As do I.@agmhkg – That’s the question and I suspect it may be many years still. Give Canada props for being more advanced than the US.@amygwen – We celebrated our anniversary on August 7th. Sounds like you got an early start to your celebrations!
Garbage. It makes me so angry!
@secade – Yeah, I try not to get too worked up but it is hard to accept discrimination against yourself without getting angry.
Wow, I did not know that at all. Things like this remind me again of how gay people are truly not treated equal and how being gay still means we have to face things like this that say a big fat no to who we are.
That is pretty lame, I’m all for keeping strict immigration laws, but yes, they should be fair. If someone is going to do things legally they should not be prevented.
@sir_spamalot – Thanks for the comment. I always have to chuckle when listening to folks in the US go on and on about immigration as if it has just a single facet to the issue. “Build a wall!” “Send more troops!” “Deport the Mexicans!” and all that seem to miss the point that immigration is very complex and it is about both illegal and legal immigration.@stepaside_loser – Down in Australia, you’re closer to equality than the US is in that regards. An Australian can sponsor a foreign-born domestic partner for immigration and even a foreigner who is approved for permanent residency can sponsor his or her same-sex foreign partner. All in all, despite not having marriage equality, much further along than the US.