Green Light for Green Cards?? – End of DOMA and Its Effect on American Immigration


Many civil rights groups throughout the United States were celebrating the end of certain parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, otherwise known as DOMA.

The Defense of Marriage Act is an act of congress which established and defined what marriage was for a variety of purposes in America.

Many gay-rights groups saw this legislation as a form of legalized persecution as it prevented same-sex couples from getting married. The legislation allowed for other types of partnerships and such, but the term marriage was to be reserved solely for heterosexual marriages.

The late June Supreme Court decision meant that the United States federal government, for all intents and purposes, must recognize all marriages as long as they were legal in the jurisdiction in which they were conducted.

This means that a same-sex marriage in France or the Netherlands would be recognized as a bona fide marriage in the United States. A marriage that was conducted in one of the states in America where same sex marriages are legal is also considered completely bona fide and must be accepted.

This is particularly important in terms of immigration. Before, if a person happened to be in a same-sex marriage and they tried to apply for immigration benefits they would be regarded as having no better relationship than strangers or at best, friends.

This is a rather upsetting realization to have that the country that you’re trying to call home does not recognize the relationship that you nurture and cherish.

It’s not surprising that it is often immediately regarded as persecution. A person in this situation may potentially ask why them? What makes them less deserving of the same rights as others. Other immigrants are allowed to bring their husbands and wives into the U.S. why can’t they?

Now, because of the Supreme Court decision against DOMA, this is no longer a problem.

Immigrants married to a person of the same sex can apply for immigration benefits in the same way as any other married person would.

The unusual part of this is that the marriage may not be recognized in the state in which you eventually decide to live, but the federal government will recognize the marriage for immigration purposes.

This is subject to future changes of course, considering that the overturning of this section of DOMA is only a bell weather of future changes in LGBTQ policies in the U.S.

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