Conflict & Tragedy
Same-Sex Marriage & Immigration Rights: Gay Spouse Who Cares For Sick Partner To Be Deported On Grounds Of Defense Of Marriage Act
August 10, 2011, San Francisco, Ca.]--New York made history when the Equal Marriage Act was signed into law making Gay marriage legal. They joined 5 others in the short list of states where same-sex couples are legally allowed to marry.
They are allowed to marry but what about immigration rights? How exactly does that work? Generally, if an immigrant marries an American citizen, he/she can "sponsor" their spouse, giving them legal status.
Apparently this does not apply to Gay married couples.
A gay couple who resides in San Francisco, Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia and Bradford Wells reportedly married in Massachusetts 7 years ago but Customs and Immigration refused to grant Anthony permanent legal status.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, he was ordered to leave the U.S. in a few weeks, by August 25 to be exact, even though he is legally married and the couple have been together for 19 years. To make matters worse, Makk is caring for his spouse who is extremely ill.
The Immigration Dept denied his permanent residency on a 1986 law which stipulates same-sex couples are ineligible for federal benefits.
The Federal government is holding up this decades old statute "The Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) which maintains "For a relationship to qualify as a marriage for purposes of federal law, one partner must be a man and the other a woman."
That is the dilemma of the Equality Marriage Act. States that allow same sex-marriagea are still governed by Federal laws and the Federal government has dodged the issue of Gay marriage.
For our Gay men and women serving in our military, the Clinton administration said 'don't ask and we won't tell' which George Bush was happy to continue. The subterfuge marches on with the Obama administration, for though it looks like they have repealed "DADT," they are still straddling the fence on Federal legislation that would apply to the entire nation.
What do you think: If the couple was allowed to legally marry, how could this statute still apply? Isn't it time to amend it or do you agree with the Immigration's denial of Makk's Visa?