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2. The Green Cards Are Coming
One area where the feds are moving at a faster pace to implementing changes to recognize same-sex couples is immigration. The weekend after the Supreme Court ruling, Traian Popov, a Bulgarian immigrant living in Florida who legally married husband Julian Marsh in New York, received notice his permanent residence visa had been approved.
Right after the DOMA ruling, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a statement saying, “I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.” Just like that. Consider how much of a nightmare legal immigration is in all other ways. The change also eliminated one source of conflict for the proposed immigration reform bill. Democrats had wanted same-sex couple recognition, but Republicans balked. The fight threatened the whole process. The DOMA ruling makes the battle moot. Now they can fight over every other part of the bill.
3. The Service Ban Was Just Removed, and Now Military Spouses Will Be Acknowledged
After the huge struggle to get rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”
the military’s response to the DOMA decision has been to salute and
get on with it. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel immediately
announced that the Department of Defense would immediately get
to work on changing policies. This will extend military benefits
and housing to spouses, health care and access to base facilities.
And when they die, spouses will get to be buried next to their
loved ones in Arlington National Cemetery. As The Nation
noted, though, there may be some hiccups with getting the Veterans
Administration-based benefits squared