Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘US LGBT visa’

18th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that some have been discussing tactics underlying the overall political strategy pertaining to passage of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), a recently introduced piece of legislation by Representative Jerrold Nadler designed essentially to circumvent the current prohibition of Federal recognition for same sex marriages. Such marital unions are currently legalized and/or solemnized by multiple sovereign American States as well as the District of Columbia. To quote directly from the article No Republicans, No News posted on the website UnitingAmericanFamilies.Net:

The UAFA-related blogosphere is alive with reports of the bill being re-introduced into Congress. This will seem like a wet blanket, but my jaded response is… so what? The bill (and its predecessor) has been introduced into every subsequent Congress since the year 2000, and it has never come close to passing.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers click upon the hyperlinks above to read more from the enlightening piece.

Of especial interest to this blogger was the analysis of the current political predicament facing proponents of UAFA or a bill, such as the Reuniting Families Act, which utilizes UAFA-like language. To quote further from the aforementioned article:

It’s no longer the Dems who need to be convinced. We will NOT get our basic human rights until we start to convince Republicans — whether right-wing, Tea-Party, or “moderate” (if such a thing still exists). It’s a simple game of numbers.

This is an insightful notion as it is so acutely correct. The way for the LGBT Community, same sex bi-national couples, and anyone else who is a victim of government discrimination based upon sexual orientation to effect change is through gaining broad based, possibly bi-partisan, support (under the circumstances the word “bi-partisan” simply does not seem accurate as this truly is an issue of personal liberty and not party ideology). Importantly, supporters of UAFA and bills similar to UAFA have one relatively new political “arrow” in their “quivers” and that arrow is States’ Rights. The 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution reserves certain rights to the Several Sovereign States. Marriage, and the licensure thereof, has traditionally been viewed as a purely intraState matter. Therefore, when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) came into conflict with State policies such as those currently maintained by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issues surrounding the 10th Amendment came to the foreground of the debate.

The fate of DOMA, UAFA, the Reuniting Families Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act remains to be seen, but one thing is clear, at least in this blogger’s personal opinion: the issue of same sex marriage may become one of those issues that, in politics, is truly a “game changer”.

For related information please see: Full Faith and Credit Clause.

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22nd March 2010

The authors of this blog keep a close eye upon pending legislation in both the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States of America. Vigilance must be maintained in order to be fully aware of all of the current Immigration policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and laws in both countries. This blog has repeatedly reported on issues involving same-sex couples seeking United States Immigration benefits as this poses one of the most politically pressing and legally confusing issues of United States Immigration at this time.

Currently, the United States Congress is debating legislation that would attempt to tackle some of the major problems in the area of US Immigration. Recently a bill was introduced that would reform current American Immigration law with regard to refugees. Some feel that an even more pressing piece of legislation is that which would provide comprehensive immigration reform in the USA.

Same Sex Immigration issues have been dealt with in separate proposed legislation called the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), but there are those who hope that a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill will eventually include immigration benefits for same sex couples. A very popular website and blog, Immigration Equality.org, has been posting updates regarding the situation in Washington D.C. where marchers will be falling upon the US Capital to demand Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation. Most notable, is the fact that among the marchers LGBT rights activists are campaigning for equal rights in the US immigration process. To quote Immigration Equality’s blog directly:

“In the midst of the tens of thousands rallying for reform, a contingent of 300 to 500 people will on hand, with rainbow flags in hand, to bring attention to the struggles of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrants and their families. And before they set their first foot on the grassy lawn off Constitution Avenue, their presence is already being felt and making change.”

The blog added a personal touch to its report of this demonstration:

“[Laurie] Larson will be marching with the Immigration Equality contingent in honor of her close friend Steve – an American citizen – whose partner of nearly a decade, Joe, was recently forced to leave the country after losing his job and, by extension, his work visa, too. Had Steve been in a heterosexual relationship, he could have married his partner and they would have qualified for residency. But because Steve and Joe are both male, that option doesn’t exist for them. Under current U.S. immigration law, Steve cannot sponsor Joe for residency simply because they are gay.”

The idea that an American Citizen, who could legally marry a foreign national of the same sex in some US jurisdictions, cannot obtain a US family based visa for their same sex loved one definitely smacks of inequality where the same American could petition for visa benefits for their loved one if the loved one was of a different sex. That being said, these issues have yet to be played out and there are some who believe that the issues of same sex family based immigration will likely be dealt with in the US Courts as the Defense of Marriage Act‘s (DOMA) constitutionality is currently being challenged by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For information on US Immigration in general please see: US Visa Thailand.

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