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Friday, June 28, 2013

Marriage Equality Was Discussed in Crafting Senate Immigration Reform Bill

As I've posted on this blog a few days ago, the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor removed the last legal impediment to allowing same sex couples to apply for immigration benefits for the foreign born spouseThe New Yorker reports that this topic was actually discussed during the negotiations of the Senate bill on immigration reform.

According to Ryan Linza, the Democrats in the Gang of Eight wanted to include a provision in the bill which would have given gay and lesbian couples the right to apply for immigration benefits.  The Republican members opposed the measure, with Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham threatening to withdraw support if the measure were added.

The Supreme Court's decision, however, has apparently made this debate moot.  Because the Federal Government cannot discriminate against those in lawful same sex marriages, that would seem to indicate that immigration benefits must be granted on equal footing.  Indeed, the Washington Blade reports that the Office of Personnel and Management has already laid out a plan to provide Federal benefits for Government employees in same sex marriages.

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
(703) 837-8832
info@kovatchimmigrationlaw.com

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