Target: US State Department
Goal: Commend State Department for extending equal visa privileges to same-sex spouses as to opposite-sex married couples
Same sex couples applying for U.S. visas now have much greater chances of actually obtaining them. The U.S. has begun reviewing visa applications of same sex spouses under the same qualifications used for heterosexual ones. Immigration benefits will be offered to same-sex alien spouses of U.S. citizens, as long as the marriage took place in a country where same-sex marriages are legally recognized. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that this reform “[tears] down an unjust and an unfair barrier” that inhibits same-sex families from being able to live and travel as freely as other families.
The State Department also ordered a system-wide review of visa petitions that were previously denied because of sexual preference. After the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down, legalizing same-sex marriage in the U.S., President Obama mandated that all agencies review their policies in regard to same-sex couples. The State Department found the visa denials unconstitutional and is acting quickly to correct their former rulings. A couple may live in a state that has yet to approve same-sex marriage and still receive immigration benefits, as long as their marriage occurred legally either in another state or in another country.
By signing below, you will applaud the Obama administration and the State Department for taking the adequate measures to protect the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans. This reform has the potential to positively transform the lives of 36,000 couples. By reviewing future applications and formerly denied applications, the State Department is making the right effort to ensure that every American has an equal chance to be with his or her loved one.
Dear Secretary of State John Kerry,
We applaud the State Department’s efforts to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community by assessing visa applications for alien spouses in the same manner as applications for heterosexuals. We also laud the State Department for reviewing denied applications from the past to ensure that those individuals are not unfairly blocked from entering or leaving our country.
The strike down of the Defense of Marriage Act is a major victory of America. It is now time to ensure that the implications of the overruling are applied to existing policies. We believe that no one should be denied the right to be with their love one, especially because of their sexual orientation. We cherish the fact that our federal government has recognized this and is fighting to make the right reforms. We celebrate the progress that the State Department has made and hope that these changes become an example for many more to come.
[Your Name Here]
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