Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Binational Same-Sex Couples

There is an interesting article today at 365Gay.com pertaining to same-sex binational couples. Gay men and women that live in the US that go into a relationship with someone living here but not a citizen (usually here on a student or work visa) have a lot to consider about their relationship. When the visa expires that other person is expected to leave the country. Now if this were a heterosexual couple, a simple marriage would solve this problem. But since we're denied marriage in most this solution doesn't hold true for us. In that respect the same-gender loving community is vulnerable.

We all know that life has many trials and tribulations. Attemping to find that person you want to spend the rest of your life with is one of the most difficult challenges many deal with. Usually you have face this challenge many times in that search for that special one. So it should be a wonderful and dear thing when you find him or her. But the consequences you must deal with if that person is from another country are great. I witnessed these difficulties myself as I know several couples that have experienced or are currently dealing with this. In one relationship the outcome wasn't pretty - one partner was forced to leave involuntarily. He was actually detained by immigration and deported.

Enter the Uniting American Families Act (formerly Permanent Partners Immigration Act). There are currently about 36,000 same-sex couples kept apart by US Immigration laws. The Uniting American Families Act would add the words “permanent partner” every time the word “spouse” appears in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. This would in essence give these couples the same rights and priviledges straight couples enjoy when it comes to citizenship status. Permanent partners would need to prove they are committed, unmarried to anyone else, have no close blood relationship, and the inability to legally marry their permanent partner.

I for one hopes this bit of legislation lives to become a bill. I'm unsure whether the Congress we have is ready to pass something this progressive but I think the country is ready for it.

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