Hello from Dublin, Ireland, where I am spending two weeks visiting my partner’s family. As one half of a bi-national same-sex couple, not a day goes when I don’t give thanks that my girlfriend of 9 years was fortunate to win a green card in the lottery so that she can legally be in the U.S. We have so many friends in same sex relationships where one person is not from the U.S. and cannot leave to visit family in his or her native country for fear of not being allowed back in the country – not to mention a slew of other challenges that goes along with being illegal. I’ll never forget a guy I met years ago who had to decide if attending his mother’s funeral in Germany was worth the risk of being banned from returning to his long time partner in the U.S. Imagine.
Thanks to organizations like The DOMA Project and Out 4 Immigration, with which we were fortunate to march in San Francisco’s Pride Parade, for fighting for immigration rights for same sex couples.
President Obama’s recent revelation that he will not continue to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act will surely have major implications in the fight for immigration rights for LGBT people. Previously, the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would have enabled same-sex “permanent partners” of United States Citizens to become permanent residents. The potential for this bill to pass in the current House of Representatives is slim to none.
We look forward to representing this issue as part of Devote and send our best wishes to all those couples out there who are doing all they can to stay together.