Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear a constitutional challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor v. U.S., as well as the California Prop 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry. This means a ruling on DOMA’s fate – as well as on marriages in California – is expected in June 2013. At long last, the end of two heinous laws that have impacted so many of our families is within sight, and within reach.
We don’t have to tell you what DOMA’s demise will mean. For LGBT binational couples, it is DOMA that is responsible for denied green cards, family separations and exile abroad. The end cannot come soon enough. At long last, however, we now know when the end may be here.
We know DOMA is unconstitutional. Earlier this year, we filed our own lawsuit challenging it. We are optimistic the high court will agree. Our friends at the ACLU (and their counsel at the law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton and Garrison LLP, who also serve as counsel on Immigration Equality’s DOMA lawsuit) are exceptional lawyers, and we have full faith in their ability to convince the court this law must fall. If the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA, gay and lesbian Americans may be able to sponsor their foreign partners for immigration benefits shortly thereafter.
We know that, even with the end of DOMA potentially so nearby, many of you cannot wait 6 months for relief. That’s why we’re continuing to push for passage of the Uniting American Families Act – including as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that’s expected to be introduced early next year. It’s also why we’re asking the Obama Administration to immediately stop denying green card applications filed by our families, and hold them until the Supreme Court rules.
Many of you will want to know: What does this mean for my family now?
First, visit the FAQs on our website. If your question isn’t answered in the FAQ, then use the ‘Contact Us’ form on our website to send our legal team a question online. (Because of the high volume of inquiries we expect, please use our online form, rather than calling. And please read the FAQs carefully to see if your question is answered before contacting us. This will help us respond to urgent immigration questions more quickly, and efficiently.)
We have never been so close to ending the separation and exile of LGBT binational couples. Finally, the end is near.
(Image via Wikipedia)