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USA: Difficult Time for Some LGBT Immigrants Applying for Marriage-Based Visas

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Department of Homeland SecurityAmir Rasoulpour graduated a year ago from the City University of New York law school and didn’t know exactly what he’d do. He got a job for a short time at a small Queens immigration firm but wanted something different, more creative, so he started looking around for opportunities. In late June he found one.

Shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred gay couples from the federal benefits attached to marriage, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano made clear that her immigration agents would start accepting marriage-based visa applications from same-sex couples.

“Immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse [will be reviewed] in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse,” Napolitano announced.

When Rasoulpour’s heard this he had two thoughts. On the one hand he was thrilled. As an Iranian-American whose parents immigrated to the U.S., Rasoulpour knows firsthand that opening legal routes to immigrate will change lives for the better. But he also worried that Napolitano’s assertion that gay and straight couples will be treated exactly the same could end up backfiring for some couples.

Authored By Seth Freed Wessler – See the Full Story at LGBTQ Nation

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USA: Kerry Says Married Binational Same Sex Couples Officially Eligible for Visas

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

US Secretary of State John KerryIt’s official – binational same sex couples now have a way to avoid deportation once and for all. Just get married. The Advocate reports:

Following the lead of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday that the U.S. State Department will immediately begin offering visas to married same-sex couples in the same fashion it does to married opposite-sex couples. Kerry made the announcement at the U.S. Embassy in London Friday morning, citing the recent landmark rulings from the Supreme Court in support of marriage equality. “One of our most important exports by far is America’s belief in the equality of all people,” said Kerry. “Now, our history shows that we haven’t always gotten it right.”

It’s refreshing to see something so devastating to so many couples finally settled definitively in their favor, isn’t it?

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Ukraine: Europe Will Punish Country With Visa Block if Anti Gay Law Passed

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The European Commission has confirmed it may punish Ukraine for voting for an anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law by not allowing it visa-free access to member countries.

The Ukrainian Parliament pushed forward the bill, number 8711, with a landslide vote in October.

If it is passed, the new legislation would give up to five years jail to people importing, producing or spreading positive messages about lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

Authored By Matthew Jenkin – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

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US Ends Short-Lived Hold on Binational Couple Deportations

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The short-lived hold on same-sex married binational partner deportations has been ended by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) division of Homeland Security. Since late last week, USCIS had placed a temporary hold on cases involving binational same-sex married couples in which one partner is at risk of deportation, if their marriage were legally recognized in the United States had they not been a same-sex married couple.

USCIS said they were “awaiting guidance,” but many affected, including their legal representatives, believed the hold would be more long-term, especially after Newsweek called the hold a “Gamechanger,” and some organizations suggested same-sex married binational partners should apply for green cards.

DOMA currently bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages but there are two bills in Congress right now that would repeal DOMA, which has been determined to be unconstitutional by two federal judges.

Full Story from The New Civil Rights Movement

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