The first step toward equal marriage and immigration rights for LGBT people in the several countries that provide these rights started with allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in their country’s military.
With the repeal of DADT at the end of 2010, LGBT groups and activists looking to keep the momentum alive toward full federal equal rights in the United States have turned toward immigration rights for gay and lesbian American citizens with foreign partners – same-sex binational couples – as the next logical step in our civil rights struggle (short of full repeal of DOMA and eventual passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, or ENDA).
Getting the LGBT community behind the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), legislation that would add three words to existing US immigration law and include “or permanent partner” wherever the word “spouse” appears was initially a hard sell. There were those who wanted full federal equal marriage rights – all 1,138 of them – and UAFA only offers one, the right of a citizen to sponsor their spouse (or in our case, “intended” spouse, “fiancée”, if you will, since many of us live in a permanent state of engagement while waiting for state laws to shake down and the federal government to recognize those). (Read more)