Years Behind: What the United States Must Learn About Immigration Law and Same-Sex Couples

Hazeldean, Susan; Betz, Heather
June 2003
Human Rights;Summer2003, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p17
For the thousands of U.S. citizens with foreign same-sex partners, nothing has changed. Americans may take it for granted that if they fall in love with a foreigner, they will be able to sponsor their partner for residency in the U.S., but there is no such option for same-sex couples. It simply does not matter how long a couple has been together or how devoted they are to each other; if the partners are the same sex, their relationship is irrelevant for immigration purposes. U.S. President George W. Bush has said that American immigration system should "recognize the importance of families and help to strengthen them." Family reunification is certainly supposed to be the primary goal of U.S. immigration policy. Americans can sponsor fiances or fiancees, spouses, parents, children, and siblings for residency in the U.S., but no such provision is available for same-sex partners. Yet every day thousands of LGBT people are separated from their loved ones by American immigration laws. This situation is even more outrageous when one compares the U.S. to the rest of the world.


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