Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DOMA leads to deportation

Legally married same sex spouses are treated differently under law. That was the basis of the cases in Massachusetts, which we have discussed previously. The Department of Justice is appealing the decision finding such different treatment unconstitutional.

If you have the misfortune to be of different nationalities, you can be deported or forced to live in exile. As Glenn Greenwald, a victim of this situation, notes, such treatment is inhumane.
Most people don't have careers that enable them to live outside of the U.S., and even for those who do, many are married to foreign nationals from countries which also do not provide immigration rights to same-sex couples. For the thousands of same-sex couples in that situation, the choices are grim indeed: they can choose (1) to live illegally in one country or the other, or (2) separate and live thousands of miles away -- for the indefinite future -- from the person with whom they want to share their lives. As the HRW Report put it: "thousands of U.S. citizens and their foreign same-sex partners face enormous hardships, separation and even exile because discriminatory U.S. immigration policies deprive these couples of the basic right to be together."
(Greenwald's partner is a Brazilian national and he spends much of his time in Brazil).

John Aravosis reminds us that enforcement of this viciousness is not required and in fact, the President has previously, by executive order, blocked similar deportation:
Mind you, the President decided to ignore a federal law requiring him to kick out the not-yet-American-citizen spouses of deceased Americans. They get to stay. But gay spouses? No such empathy from the Obama administration and the apologists. Suddenly it's all "we simply MUST obey the rule of law."

America: land of the brave, home of the free AS LONG AS they are straight.

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