Applaud Homeland Security for Including Same-Sex Partners in Definition of Families

Target: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

Goal: Show support for policy that recognizes same-sex couples as families

Recently, a major victory has been won for LGBT rights advocates and immigration rights. Immigration officials have been ordered to recognize same-sex partners as family members in deportation cases. This means that there will be more protection for undocumented immigrants in a relationship with an American citizen, no matter the gender of either partner.

Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about this issue. In the letter, Napolitano said, ‘I have directed ICE [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] to disseminate written guidance to the field that the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners’. This directive will help LGBT families across the country stay together when previously, partners would have faced almost certain deportation. Napolitano has recognized that same-sex relationships are as meaningful as any other relationships, and need to be treated with the same respect.

According to Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality, this move is ‘a huge step forward’. LGBT families previously faced more challenges than same-sex couples. Now, these families will have their relationships taken under consideration in deportation cases. People in LGBT relationships that before faced certain deportation are now given the same hope that was previously only allowed to heterosexual relationships. This is indeed a huge step forward, both for the rights of immigrants and LGBT people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

Recently, you directed immigration officials to interpret the phrase ‘family relationships’ to include same-sex couples. This allows LGBT families to receive the same consideration as heterosexual couples in deportation cases. This is major progress for immigration and LGBT rights.

I applaud you for this progressive policy. You have recognized that LGBT relationships deserve the same respect as heterosexual relationships. This will give many LGBT people facing deportation hope that they will be able to stay with their loved ones. Thank you for giving people this hope.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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  • Stefano Serpico
  • Ms. Marianne A. van Ophuijsen
  • Megan N. Randolph
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  • Nick Scholtes
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