Do you know what Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom all have in common? Well, they all allow one half of a same sex couple the ability to sponsor the foreign half.
Why brings this up now? Well, today I was sent an email from an acquaintance detailing his and his partner’s situation. I urge you to read it, consider it and act if that’s what you’re compelled to do.
It is not my style to write and ask for others to support causes that are important to me, but I want to make an exception. For many years, American citizens have been able to marry non-resident aliens (people in the US who are not permanent residents or citizens). Once married (and sometimes before), the American citizen can sponsor his or her non-resident spouse for permanent residency in the US based solely on the marriage. Because homosexuals cannot legally marry under federal law, homosexuals have been unable to sponser their significant others even after many years of being together. This is due to the fact that imigration law is also entirely governed by federal law.
The result is that same-sex couples are forced to make tough decisions -they can choose to split up, which means that the non-resident leaves the US – or they can choose to move away from the US together.
For the past several years, legislation has been introduced into Congress that would allow same-sex partners to sponsor his or her non-resident partner for permanent residency, in the same way that married partners are so allowed. Formerly titled the Permanent Partners Immigration Act, the United American Families Act has 10 sponsors from the Senate (including John Kerry), and 91 sponsors in the House of Representatives. The bills are currently in the judiciary committees of the House and the Senate. In orderfor this bill to become law, it must clear the committees, be voted on by Congress, and be signed by the president or passed by a supermajority.
Vlad, who is a non-resident, and I have been together over two years now. We plan to spend our lives together, and for this reason, this legislation is very important to us. I ask that you forward this email to others who would support this legislation, and I ask that you write your legislators (see the link at the end of this LONG email) in support of this legislation. Thank you for your help and email me with any questions.
Surely the right will make this about marriage, but it’s not. This is simply about being able to sponsor somebody you love and want to spend the rest of your life with. Nobody is asking to get married, but they are asking to allow them the right to keep the ones they love close to them.
- Here’s more information about The Uniting American Families Act.
- Here’s the Senate bill and here’s the House bill.
- And you can contact your Representative click here, and your Senator click here.
If you want a sample letter you copy or modify and send to your Rep or Senator, just ask me in the comments section and I’ll send it to you privately. Thanks everybody.