Freedom To Marry

The gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide

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Why Marriage Matters to Binational Couples

"Reunification of families serves the national interest not only through the humaneness of the policy itself, but also through the promotion of the public order and well-being of the nation. Psychologically and socially, the reunion of family members ... promotes the health and welfare of the United States."

— U.S. Select Committee on Immigration and Refugee Policy, "U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest" (1981)

"But, lesbian and gay people's families do not count. Their partners are excluded from the definition of 'spouse.' Such couples are trapped between two ferocious panics sweeping the U.S. One is over equality in civil marriage. Amid rancorous debate about whether to recognize lesbian and gay people's partnerships at any level, some distort the demand for simple fairness into a claim for 'special rights,' and portray the principle of non-discrimination as a bid for privilege. Some opponents of 'gay marriage' openly define lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people themselves as second-class citizens."

Family, Unvalued: Discrimination, Denial and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples Under U.S. Law, Human Rights Campaign

Use the key resources below to learn more about why marriage matters to binational couples.

 


 

FROM EVAN WOLFSON:

Marriage equality, justice in immigration go together
The Advocate
April 11, 2006

Gay people — both citizens and non-citizens — have a direct stake in both immigration fairness and ending anti-gay discrimination.

The need to stand up against hostile or unfair policies
Freedom to Marry E-Update, Issue #15
April 12, 2006

Evan Wolfson weighs in on immigration and the freedom to marry.

For Richer, For Poorer: Same-Sex Couples and the Freedom to Marry as a Civil Right
Drum Major Institute
June 1, 2003

Excluding same-sex couples from the economic and social benefits of marriage harms the most vulnerable, those of lesser means, immigrants, people who are ill, and children.

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STORY CENTER COUPLES:

Meet some of the families from our Story Center

Gita Deane and Lisa Polyak

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WHERE YOU CAN GO TO GET INVOLVED OR LEARN MORE:

Immigration Equality
Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals.

Human Rights Campaign: International Rights and Immigration
Around the world, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families face widespread discrimination. Most governments do not offer legal recognition for same-sex relationships. In addition, binational GLBT couples in many countries must cope with immigration laws that fail to recognize their families.

National Center for Lesbian Rights: Immigration
In 1994 NCLR became the first national LGBT legal organization with an Immigration Project. Since those early years NCLR has provided free legal assistance to thousands of LGBT immigrants nationwide.

Love Sees No Borders
The inability to marry prevents individuals from sponsoring a non-citizen same-sex partner for immigration purposes. This disproportionately threatens the stability of Latino same-sex couples' families, many of which include children. Love Sees No Borders is an advocacy organization established in 2001 to assist bi-national same-sex couples trying to live in the Unites States.

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LEGISLATIVE STATUS OF GAY AND LESBIAN FAMILIES IN THE U.S.:

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) was reintroduced in Congress on Tuesday, May 8, 2007. Read Immigration Equality and Human Rights Campaign's joint press release on the reintroduction.

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THE NUMBERS: POLLING & STATISTICS:

There are an estimated 40,000 binational same-sex couples in the U.S. according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

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PUBLICATIONS:

Family, Unvalued: Discrimination, Denial and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples Under U.S. Law
Human Rights Campaign
2006

The United States, a nation of immigrants, likes to see itself as a symbol of freedom. Family reunification is central to U.S. immigration policies. Yet some families have no recognition — and no rights. Binational same-sex couples are lesbian and gay couples where one partner is a U.S. citizen, the other a foreign national.

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NEWS:

View news about why marriage matters to binational couples.

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Marriage equality, justice in immigration go together

The Advocate
April 11, 2006

Gay people — both citizens and non-citizens — have a direct stake in both immigration fairness and ending anti-gay discrimination.

Immigration Equality

Immigration Equality
Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals

Family, Unvalued: Discrimination, Denial and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples Under U.S. Law

Human Rights Campaign
2006

The United States, a nation of immigrants, likes to see itself as a symbol of freedom. Family reunification is central to U.S. immigration policies. Yet some families have no recognition — and no rights. Binational same-sex couples are lesbian and gay couples where one partner is a U.S. citizen, the other a foreign national.

Gay couples left in a legal limbo

The Sacramento Bee
October 21, 2007

With the broadening view of human rights around the globe and acceptance of gay relationships, 19 countries now permit citizens or legal residents to sponsor same-sex permanent partners for legal residency. The United States is not among them.