In this week of oddly varied commemorations (10th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, Earth Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day), here's a blog about a piece of federal legislation related to - but not 0f - marriage equality.
Earlier this year the Uniting American Families Act was reintroduced. The UAFA seeks to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain legal permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and permanent residents.
The UAFA will provide gay people the same opportunity as straight married folks to sponsor their partner. This legislation would create requirements (just like those for opposite-sex couples) for providing proof of the relationship, like affidavits from friends and family or evidence of financial support. As with current immigration laws for married couples, UAFA would impose harsh penalties for fraud, including up to five years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines.
The United States lags behind 20 countries that recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes: Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It's sad to see our great country, which used to be on the forefront of equality and freedom, continue to lag behind.
For more information and to support this bill, go to the Immigration Equality site.