Target: Janet Napolitano, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary
Goal: Protect marital rights of homosexual immigrants
With the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and a significant change in the way that the federal government protects the rights of same-sex couples, the United States Department of Homeland Security has produced new policies to ensure that the rights for immigrants in heterosexual marriages are extended to immigrants in same-sex marriages.
Historically, same-sex individuals could not act as green-card sponsors for their spouses in the United States. This means that U.S. citizens married to an individual of the same sex from another country would not be able to gain a green card for their spouse, a right that was afforded to heterosexual individuals married to immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security will look over all denied green card petitions for individuals in same-sex marriages filed since February 2011, in accordance with the date that the Obama administration officially stopped supporting the Defense of Marriage Act. Same-sex couples who applied for a green card before the specified date will have the opportunity to have their petition reviewed if they notify United States Citizenship and Immigration Services before March 2014.
The new policies will allow for same-sex spouses to successfully sponsor their partners for green cards, meaning that bi-national homosexual couples will be able to live in the same country, a right that has been afforded to bi-national heterosexual couples for a long time.
By signing the petition below you will be commending the Department of Homeland Security for its change in policy to support reunions of bi-national same-sex couples.
Dear Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano,
With the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act came many significant changes that will protect the rights of members of the LGBTQ community. Providing support for bi-national same-sex spouses is an important aspect of these new protections.
I am writing you to praise you for your policy changes that call for a review of green card petitions for members of same-sex marriages. As the federal government is recognizing the rights of same-sex marriages, it is important the same recognition is afforded to bi-national same-sex marriages. This is an inestimable step forward in creating a system of equality for members of the LGBTQ community in the United States, and I commend you for your efforts to create more inclusive policies.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Vinni via Flickr