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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Same sex couples fight for immigration rights - June 4th 2009, 02:26 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/...l?iref=topnews

CNN) -- Jared was forced to choose between a dying father and the love of his life.



Judy Rickard had to quit her job and lose her full pension to be with the one she loved.
Martha McDevitt-Pugh packed up and moved to another country to be with her future spouse.
"Nobody should be in that position. Nobody should have to be an exile," Rickard said.
But all three said their hands were forced by federal immigration laws that don't allow Americans to sponsor their foreign-born same-sex partners for citizenship as a man may do for his wife or a woman for her husband.
"The problem is that I, as a woman, cannot sponsor my female partner for immigration. If I was a man or [my partner] Karin was a man, we wouldn't be having this discussion," said Rickard, 61.
She now travels outside the United States whenever she can to be with her partner, Karin Bogliolo, 68, who had to go back to Britain when her visa expired last year, but it's not the life together they dreamed of.
"I am finally with someone I really want to be with," Bogliolo said. "But we haven't got all the time in the world. We're both getting old." Watch couple's emotional plea to live together
An estimated 36,000 bi-national couples face the same dilemma each year, according to an advocacy group, Immigration Equality.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill for the first time Wednesday, after 10 previous attempts to have hearings on the Uniting American Families Act. The bill has 102 co-sponsors in the House and 17 co-sponsors in the Senate, including Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council which opposes same sex marriage, has condemned the bill as "yet another attack on marriage at the expense of U.S. taxpayers." Watch what's at stake in the same-sex immigration fight
"Although Leahy frames the policy as an anti-discrimination measure, the truth is, this weakens our federal law and chips away at the unique status of marriage," Perkins wrote in a blog on the group's Web site.
"For the federal government to recognize homosexual pairs in any way, shape, or form is a violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act."
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, who is openly gay, is a co-sponsor of the House version of the bill, but thinks it should be part of a larger immigration reform measure, according to his spokesman, Harry Gural.
Gural said Frank "doubts that it will be taken up in this Congress because of the overwhelming need to deal with other issues like financial regulation, climate change and health care." Gural said Frank supports the bill, but "he's just a pragmatist."
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from couples facing deportation and split because of the law. Nineteen other countries, including much of western Europe and Canada, Brazil and Australia among others, allow nationals to sponsor same-sex partners for citizenship.
"We're not asking for anything special," Rickard said. "This is a civil rights issue; it's about basic rights and right now, we are considered second-class citizens. But this bill, if it passed, it would mean quite simply that we could be equal."
The committee heard from opponents like Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that supports a restrictive immigration policy and the deportation of illegal immigrants. She testified that immigration numbers in the United States are already staggering and the bill would put further stress on the system.
Vaughan said that because the bill would allow sponsoring of "permanent partnerships," it would be difficult to accept applications because there was no documentation for those, the way there are for marriages.
"Without documents, how do you establish the relationship is bona fide?" she said. "And if we are going to make this change, it should be across all federal levels, not just immigration. What about Social Security and Medicare?"
-----
Continues at link

My question is, should gay couples get the same right to sponsor an immigrant?

I say yes, there is no reasoning behind otherwise...




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Re: Same sex couples fight for immigration rights - June 4th 2009, 06:14 PM

Yes, they should. Any argument against it would be as stupid and prejudiced as an argument against same sex marriage. Just let them be together, for the love of god.


Not around so much now that school's started

"Live a good life.
If there are gods and they are just,
then they will not care how devout you have been,
but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by.
If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them.
If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life
that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
Marcus Aurelius
   
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Re: Same sex couples fight for immigration rights - June 4th 2009, 08:11 PM

Yes, I don't see how they can't allow it really.




fait
h is a bluebird that you see from afar
it is real and as sure as the first evening star
can't touch it, or buy it, or lock it up tight
but its there just the same
making things turn out right



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Re: Same sex couples fight for immigration rights - June 4th 2009, 08:14 PM

Just be with the person you love.


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Re: Same sex couples fight for immigration rights - June 4th 2009, 08:31 PM

Actually, I would need a couple questions answered before I could say whether or not I think this is right. I'm Canadian so I'm not sure how this works in the US

Firstly, do common-law straight couples with no legal documentation of their relationship have the same problem (not being able to sponsor their partner for immigration)?

If the answer is yes, then it makes sense to me. It becomes an issue of documentation and whether these couples' claim is valid. If there's no proof, how can the government safely allow an immigrant to be sponsored by this other person?

My other question is, would a legally married gay couple have the same problem? (as they would have all of the necessary documentation to sponsor their immigrant spouse)
   
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