Thursday, July 15, 2010

LGBT Immigration Reform Update - UAFA

An issue that has become exceedingly important to me, because of the situation that I am in, is Immigration reform and how it affects LGBT bi-national couples. Thankfully I can say that there has been some progress over the past few months on the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)

UAFA gives American citizens the ability to sponsor their same-sex partner - whether they be married to them, in conjugal relationship, or common-law - for entry into the United States. Though legislation has continually stalled over the past few years, key democrats in Congress - led by Rep. Gutierrez - have advocated UAFA inclusion in the comprehensive immigration reform bill about to be considered by Congress.

There of course, is the obvious anti-gay anything crowd on the right - National Association of Evangelicals, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - who normally do support comprehensive immigration reform, yet have stated they will not support it if UAFA language is included. The question that I would pose to them is this? Why are you opposed to this bill? It is in no way "legalizing" gay marriage, instead it is just recognizing the fact that gay U.S. citizens cannot sponsor the person that they want to be with and therefore in order to be with them, must face exile from the United States.

Thankfully though, even with the opposition of the "Christian Right", Out4Immigration and Immigration Equality are slowly making headroads in the fight for the passage of UAFA. Cities all across America are passing resolutions in support of UAFA, which Out$Immigration dutifully reports. People, and organizations are also waking up to UAFA, including Human Rights Campaign, who just gave their support to the policy.

Hopefully, at the end of this years legislative session, we will see the passage of comprehensive immigration reform with the inclusion of UAFA. That would take a load off at least my shoulders.

1 comment:

  1. Until all states are forced to recognize same sex couples, I think this is a waste of time. We are a bi-national couple and I very much care about the issue. We now live abroad because of US gay discrimination policy.


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