Sen Patrick Leahy has introduced an amendment on the Senate immigration bill introduced by the gang of 8, to allow LGBT couples in long term relationships to get immigration benefits. And even though I am a liberal, and whole heatedly support gay rights, I think this amendment should be considered if and only if the Supreme Court leaves DOMA intact.
Gay couples are allowed to marry in many states. However, unlike heterosexual couples, who can get immigration benefits if their spouse is a Citizen of United States, gay couple cannot get the same benefit. And that is because DOMA, a federal law defines marriage as an union between a man and a woman. This law is up in front of the Supreme Court, has no support of the Obama administration or the majority of American people, and is a discriminatory law with no purpose. If the Supreme Court does not strike down DOMA, then the Roberts Court will go down in history as a bigoted court, out of touch with the reality of the times.
Being an optimist, I would like to think that the majority of Justices will at least think of their legacy and strike down DOMA. If that happens, gays can already marry in 11 states. Under full faith and credit, other states have to recognize and give Immigration benefits to same sex married couples.
The amendment says benefits to couples “in long term relationships.” Why would same sex couples have to prove “long term” when hetero couples dont? Why should the law recognize a Kardashian type Vegas marriage and not a similar same sex marriage?
Being LGBT is an immutable characteristic, same as skin color, or hetero orientation. So why should the law create a special class for LGBT people? We need EQUALITY, not special protection. Hetero and same sex couples should be looked upon as same, couples who will build their lives together. And because this is a subjective standard, and the CIS officers will look at this with their own biases, the law should create standards for determining whether the relationship is real or not. The same standard for EVERYONE, regardless of their sexual orientation.
No other area of law is rife with discriminatory history as Immigration Law. Lets end this, end country quotas, end special protections for some.