Gay and Lesbian Partner Visas in the US: Part and Parcel of the Immigration Debate?

by Thailand Lawyer on November 18, 2010

As US Immigration attorneys in Thailand, we receive numerous requests form same sex couples who are seeking to immigrate together, as spouses to the USA.  The unfortunate answer we need to reply with is that US Immigration law has not caught up with social changes.  Although Thailand is, by all appearance more accepting of gay relationships than the USA and many other societies, in reality, the Thai laws are often even more antiquate with regard to gay and lesbian rights than in the USA.  The Thailand Law Forum has published a number of articles concerning Thai law and now has the privilege of providing an analysis of the US immigration laws in relation to Gay and lesbian rights:  US visa discrimination against gays and lesbians delves into the long, troubling history the US displays when focused on the topic of gay marriage and same sex partners, combined with the nullifying effects that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has on the ability of bi-national couples to sponsor their foreign partner for a US visa.  The article reports that almost 36,000 bi-national LGBT couples live in the United States, with uncertain immigration status. It also states that at least 25 nations grant immigration benefits to same-sex couples, including Australia, Great Britain and the 15 European members of the Schengen Visa pact.

Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that the US, the land of the free, is lagging behind these other developed Western nations when it comes to offering equality to gay couples?

The article can be found here:  US Visa Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

JP November 30, 2010 at 09:26

The US is undecided about same-sex marriage domestically. Currently only five states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized same-sex marriage. Despite the laws in these six places, DOMA prevents recognition of same-sex married couples in states that have not legalized same-sex marriage and by the federal government. The US federal government is unlikely to bring immigration laws up to speed regarding same-sex couples when the majority of American taxpayers refuse to reform the law. The best way to eventually see a change in immigration policy regarding this issue is to continue to fight for LGBT equality on US soil.

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