Recently 6 states have legalized gay marriage. The States are mainly in New England, New York, DC, and Iowa. Yet, just before Massachussets legalized gay marriage, the federal Government passed a Statute called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. DOMA does not prevent a State from legalizing gay marriage, but States can refuse to grant any rights to same sex partners.
Many Red ( read Republican) States like Texas prohibits same sex marriage by statute or Constitution. Yet under the full faith and credit law, States are supposed to recognize marriages held in other states.
When it comes to Immigration, same sex partners have so far been denied the right to adjust status via marriage. If one partner of a heterosexual couple is a United States Citizen, the other partner can obtain the Permanent Residency (Green Card) very easily. Yet that same right is denied to a same sex couple. Recently Jose Antonio Vargas, the pulitzer prize winning journalist from the Phillipines, who is undocumented, said he was asked to marry a girl to get the immigration, but he is gay and could not. Stories of long time gay couples, who cannot be united are heart wrenching. And whats more outrageous is that a Government entity from what is known as a “civilized” nation like ours is the one doing the discrimination.
Legally the federal law is supposed to recognize the law in a state, when it has to deal with state law issues like family law. Yet the DOMA prevents the federal government to grant rights to same sex couples. So the Citizenship and Immigration Service in these 6 states are shelving the cases hoping that the courts will rule on DOMA.
What is really maddening though is that when President Obama ran for President, he supported gay marriage. But now, trying to concede to the conservative opposition, he says he is rethinking his position on DOMA. We, the people of the United States voted for Obama, because we wanted America to regain the freedom we lost during the Bush era. Let us show the world that we will not fall behind when personal liberty is at issue.