DOMA Decision Means One Less Immigration Fight

Binational gay couples is some states will get to follow same rules as straight counterparts


Now it's just nearly impossible, instead of completely impossible.
Credit: ep_jhu / Foter.com / CC BY

The Gang of 8 behind the massive immigration reform overhaul, as extremely embattled (possibly doomed) as it is, has one less fight on its hands with today's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.  Democrats had been pushing for protections for bi-national gay couples to cover them under the same immigration rules as heterosexual couples. There has been resistance for fear it would poison the bill for good among conservatives. Now with the Supreme Court ruling striking DOMA down, the pressure's off. Via NBC News:

Before today's decision, an American was prohibited under DOMA from sponsoring a same-sex foreign national spouse for a green card. Practically, that meant that an American who married someone of the same sex from a different country was unable to bring their spouse to live legally in the United States as a heterosexual married person could.

But the court's decision to strike down DOMA means those marriages must be recognized for immigration purposes, a relief for some backers of the comprehensive immigration reform bill — which does not include language addressing immigration rights for same-sex couples despite heavy lobbying from LGBT groups.

Note, though, this ruling only applies to states where gay marriage is legally recognized. That's 13 states, plus possibly California very soon following the Supreme Court's rejection of standing for Proposition 8.  

Below, Reason TV on how the Defense of Marriage Act has affected gay bi-national couples: