On Monday the group Immigration Equality filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of five married couples who have tried in vain to sponsor their foreign spouses for green cards.What's hindering them more than most couples (and that's saying something with the U.S.'s system) is the fact that they are gay couples. They're all legally married couples, mind, but that's under state law. And if the drug war reaffirms anything, it's that feds rule, states drool.
The big, fat Defense of Marriage Act is still preventing these couples from receiving any federal benefits or recognition of their unions, which would includes the fact that their foreign spouses are immediate relatives who should therefore be sponsorable. This nonsense, says the lawsuit, is a violation of their constitutional rights to equal protection.
According to the New York Daily News, the lawsuit was filed against a whole mess of big names:
Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Alejandro Mayorkas; Robert M. Cowan, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services National Benefits Center; and Daniel Renaud, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Vermont Service Center.
This whole federal ripping apart of families thing has been happening for a while, in spite of the Obama administration's 2011 declaration that it will stop defending DOMA. And whether you're on the let's get government out of marriage entirely camp (sweet), the my morals should be law camp (not that), or the say, this whole inconsistently in law thing is kind of indefensible camp (that!), it's hard to find the reason why this lawsuit wouldn't have merit. We're talking not just positive benefits, tax breaks, etc. from the state, but the fundamental right to stick with your partner and (hopefully) true, true love. DOMA's death is long overdue.