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.