In a mere twenty-four hours the US Supreme Court will finally hand down its decision in United States v Windsor and Hollingsworth v Perry. For millions of Americans in favor of marriage equality, tomorrow may well be one of the most joy-filled days of their lives… or one of the most devastating; and in light of the win for Affirmative Action earlier this week, and then today’s slap in the face of civil rights, there is no telling what SCOTUS will ultimately decide about same-sex marriage.
The Human Rights Campaign has outlined the four possible scenarios for tomorrow’s ruling:
While the Big Win is what advocates are hoping for, other scenarios still leave the door open for marriage equality. However, a Prop 8 only win would be devastating for immigration equality efforts.
Organizations like Out4Immigration, Immigration Equality, and others are laser focused on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) win because that is the only scenario that will provide relief to same-sex binational couples.
Without a DOMA victory life will not get any easier for LGBT American citizens or permanent residents who are married to, in a civil union with or registered as a domestic partner with someone from another country. Those people will still wake up to a world where their families can be ripped apart.
Currently, DOMA prohibits the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex binational relationships at the federal level. This means if you are a gay or lesbian American with a foreign partner, you cannot sponsor your partner for a green card. This is a right opposite-sex binational couples have.
Sadly, when the immigration reform bill passed the senate lgbt couples were left out when Senator Leahy (D-VT) withdrew an amendment that would have allowed gay and lesbian citizens to petition for their partners that they married in other countries. The cowardice was cloaked as a bipartisan move meant to ensure the bill’s passage in the house.
There is hope that if passed via executive order President Obama might add an addendum that includes same-sex couples, but the best hope for binational families comes in the form of striking down DOMA.
Should DOMA be upheld the fight for binational couples will continue. Out4immigration and other grassroots organizations are urging people to call their Congressman.