Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’

23rd May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that one of the American Senators from the sovereign State of New York has been interviewed regarding United States Immigration and the ramifications of current policies upon the LGBT community.  To quote directly from the website of the Immigration Equality Action Fund:

In a wide-ranging new interview with reporter Andrew Harmon at The Advocate, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) talks about the future of LGBT-inclusive immigration reform, as well as her own experiences as the American half of a binational marriage. Gillibrand – who has been a staunch supporter of LGBT equality – recently joined eleven other Senate colleagues in calling on the Obama Administration to halt the deportation of LGBT spouses…

The administration of this web log strongly recommend that readers click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more about this interesting interview. It is truly fortunate that Senator Gillibrand and her eleven colleagues have taken this position in support of bi-national LGBT spouses.

For those who are unfamiliar with the current plight of the LGBT community in America it should be noted that multiple sovereign States as well as the District of Columbia allow same sex marriage or same sex marital union. That stated, the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) prohibit the United States Federal government from recognizing such unions. Therefore, same sex couples are not permitted to obtain the same federal benefits as their different-sex counterparts. As a result, many same sex bi-national couples are separated from one another because they cannot obtain the same federal immigration benefits as their different sex counterparts. At present, there is currently legislation pending before the federal legislature which would alleviate some or all of these legal problems. Such legislation includes, but may not be limited to: the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), the Reuniting Families Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act. It is notable that the State of New York has more than one member of its delegation in support of LGBT-friendly legislation as Representative Jerrold Nadler has recently supported and introduced legislation to ameliorate the discrimination currently imposed upon same sex couples by relevant federal American law.

Meanwhile, it would appear as though issues associated with same sex marriage visas are not the only things on the minds of Americans concerned about U.S. Immigration policy as it recently came to this blogger’s attention that a well regarded attorney from the United States recently commented upon the Diversity Visa Lottery. To quote directly from Greg Siskind on the website

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the annual green card lottery. On the one hand, shouldn’t our green card numbers be going to high priority family and employment categories that are backlogged as opposed to people who randomly are selected and may have few skills to offer and aren’t reuniting with family here? Political scientist Yascha Mounk makes the case for keeping the lottery, however, in an opinion piece in today’s New York Times.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more.

It has always been this blogger’s opinion that the Diversity Visa Lottery Program is a positive aspect of the current American immigration system. That stated, it would certainly be nice to see the reunification of both different-sex and same-sex families in the future. Hopefully, one day we will see both.

For related information please see: US Visa Thailand or Full Faith and Credit Clause.

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5th April 2011

In a recent episode of Bill Maher’s popular television program Mr. Maher noted the fact that the debate on same sex marriage is being stubbornly maintained despite the continued damage it does to honest American Citizens and their families. He also noted the somewhat hypocritical stature of the current position held by the administration and the Congress regarding the issue of same sex marriage. After watching this program this blogger felt as though Maher had failed to take into consideration the endeavors of some steadfast legislators on behalf of the LGBT community and those same sex bi-national couples who continue to hope for legal change either in the form of judicial or legislative action.

A fascinating article on this issue was posted on an interesting website known as the Business Insider.  To quote directly from the Business Insider website

In his New Rules segment last night, Bill Maher took Obama and the Democratic party to task for not being able to pass gay marriage in America, even though more than a majority of people support it for the first time.

The administration of this web log highly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above to read the Business Insider’s take on these issues as the piece written by the author Steven Loeb is quite enlightening and insightful.The issue of same sex marriage is increasingly in the news as developments on the issue seem to be occurring quite quickly at the time of this writing. One of the reasons for this may stem from a sincere hope that the notion of Equal Protection under the Federal law will be extended to all American Citizens regardless of their sexual orientation and/or preference. Concurrently, there are those who also hope that Federal authorities recognize the Several States’ Right to regulate the marriage of those within their jurisdiction. Furthermore, there are others who hope that some of these issues could be resolved by the United States Supreme Court as there are likely legal implications pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution. Putting these issues aside, Mr. Maher went on to note, humorously if somewhat crudely, quoting further from the Business Insider:

…that only 53% of people support it, which means that “47% of Americans are assholes.”

“But still, this is remarkable progress considering that it wasn’t that long ago that just saying the words gay marriage made most Americans throw up in their Cornflakes. So, tonight, I’d like to congratulate the leadership of the Democratic party who really stood up for what was right. I’d like to, but I can’t. Because other than Gavin Newsom, Dennis Kucinich and that Governor of New Jersey… no Democrat would touch this issue with a ten inch pole.”

Although this blogger has often noted the exploits of Representative Dennis Kucinich this monologue by Maher should be noted first for the fact that for all of the hyperbole and some might say profanity: the man is right. Same sex marriage is apparently becoming increasingly popular to a broader sector of the population, even though the cause has seen relatively little support at times from so-called “main stream” sections of either political party. Meanwhile, there are strong legal arguments which can be made against the Federal government’s enforcement of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) as it applies in sovereign US States which recognize, legalize, and/or solemnize same sex marriages. That stated, the Constitutionality of DOMA is questionable in terms understandable by broad sectors of the population as DOMA’s continued withholding of Federal recognition of unions  solemnized and legalized by 6 States and the District of Columbia infringes upon sovereign rights long reserved to the States, most notable among these rights is the right to solemnize and/or legalize marriages within the State’s jurisdiction (as well as annulment and/or divorce) as noted in a recent Massachusetts Federal Court decision.

Putting all of this aside, why no mention of Representative Jerrold Nadler? Why no mention of the other legislators who have championed this cause such as Representative Zoe Lofgren or Senator Kirsten Gillibrand? In the case of Representative Nadler, whom this blogger has followed with keen interest as he appears, at least to this blogger, to be the Federal legislator most active on this issue: here is a Democrat from New York who has continued to be an advocate for same sex bi-national couples as well as the entire LGBT community by actively supporting legislation such as the Respect for Marriage Act, the Uniting American Families Act, and; perhaps, Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation which would include relevant language allowing same sex bi-national couples to receive United States immigration benefits to the same degree as their different-sex counterparts. This blogger is not disagreeing with Mr. Maher’s opinion on the issue of some Democrats apparently refusing to support legislation which would modify or repeal DOMA, but in an attempt to see that some credit is given where due it has been repeatedly noted on this blog that Representative Nadler has remained a champion of legislation which would reform what many feel is a flagrant violation of the civil rights of many Americans as well as the States’ right to make policies regarding the legalization and solemnization of marriages.

It should be noted that this blogger is in no way affiliated with Representative Nadler having never personally dealt with his office nor his staff and this mention is in no way an endorsement of anything other than his position on respecting the civil liberties of all Americans to marry whomever they choose and the State institution of marriage.

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