Gay Binational Couples to File Lawsuit Challenging DOMA

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Gay couples are ready to rumble for equality in immigration law.
Consider it the next major court battle against the Defense of Marriage Act: Gay Americans will file the first lawsuit to challenge DOMA on the grounds that it bars them from sponsoring a gay foreign spouse for a visa like straight couples can.

Immigration Equality, a New York- and Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that will represent the couples in the lawsuit, told SF Weekly the news Wednesday.  

"The suit will assert that denying green cards to spouses of gay and lesbian Americans is unconstitutional," said Steve Ralls, Immigration Equality's spokesman. "It's the first federal court challenge on the behalf of binational families." 

Immigration Equality has been examining its legal options since the Obama administration's statement last week that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which gives federal marriage benefits to straight spouses only. Up until now, that's meant that gay Americans couldn't sponsor their foreign spouse for a visa, an issue we examined in the 2010 cover story "Worlds Apart."


"Certainly the administration has now indicated that lesbian and gay couples should be receiving every federal benefit straight couples receive - that includes immigration benefits," says Ralls. "With them saying [DOMA] is unconstitutional, I think we're starting in a very strong position. With the right plaintiffs in the right circuit, we have a really strong chance of winning."

Ralls says the non-profit is still mulling exactly which couples to choose as plaintiffs, and deciding in which federal circuit court to file the suit. They've zeroed in on the First or Second Circuits in New England, given the concentration of states that allow gay marriage in that region. The attorneys want to select plaintiffs whose marriages are recognized in their home state. 

"I don't know that we've completely taken California off the list of possibilities, but certainly there are strong reasons to consider the First and Second Circuits," Ralls says. Attorneys are also deciding whether just the gay Americans have the right - or "standing" - to be plaintiffs in the suit, or if the foreign spouses will be included as well. 

Earlier this week we wrote about gay spouses of Americans who, given Obama's new stance on DOMA, are already challenging deportation cases in immigration courts on the grounds that if they were straight, they would be able to get a spouse visa.

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Sophia Green
Sophia Green

Hi cutie, Could you hit me up on--- RichFlirts.C'om---A dating club for successful, beautiful people.I am a smart&pretty gal. seeking a sweet man.pls Check out my username myshine,serious...

Sparkiejr
Sparkiejr

We are a binational couple looking to meet other binational couples to help overcome immigration challenges.

Jaromir K
Jaromir K

Hi, I am very glad that this issue is reported, because I am a part of a binational gay couple. Sparkiejr, you can contact me on Twitter. Take care. 

aliencountryboy
aliencountryboy

Being in the same situation I can only agree . We pay the same taxes, even more in most cases, so it is about time to get the same rights. There are so many other cultivated countries in the world , which are all ready there. Why should the LAND OF THE FREE be the last one.?

Greg
Greg

It's funny how not long ago the same religous bible thumpers were yelling that black and white hetro relationships were not 'normal'. Now many years later, the same hateful, 'God fearing' people are the one yelling that the LGBT community, yet, when their leaders are found with a butt plug up their a$$, a face covered in cocaine and male escort beating him with a chicken, they pray for his deliverance....hypocrites....all of them!

Licia<3Yari
Licia<3Yari

laws cannot be based on RELIGION... everybody who is an american citizen deserves EQUAL RIGHTS! straight or gay... PERIOD.

how can a government expect to be repected worldwide if they dont start treating their own citizens equally? meanwhile, other countries have ALREADY approved marriage equality... argentina, brazil, england and many others... c'mon... and the U.S is waiting forrrr? what? a revolution?

there's no need for violence. the world is evolving and accepting NEW ideas! remember, once, not so long ago... everybody thought the world was square and not round! ;)

JGlucci
JGlucci

this is great news...keep up the good work!

RJ
RJ

As a gay individual living in Nebraska who has been wishing for 5 years to unite with my foreign-born partner, who I met while he was studying in the United States legally, this is very good news. I thank the brave plaintiffs who will be sharing our similar stories of the discrimination and inequality we face when compared to our heterosexual friends and family. I also thank the Obama administration for providing yet another push in the right direction.

Decent American
Decent American

I would rather be the vicitm of a frontal assault in SF than an assault from the rear. Do we really need even more worthless Filipinos invading America with 800 pound ugly white husbands? Gay or normal, its still wrong

Franck
Franck

If you're going to call all the stereotypes out there, don't forget to mention worthless Russian brides and their multi-millionaire ugly white husbands.

ssparks123
ssparks123

Ummm first of all, it's not called "normal" -- it's called "straight" or "heterosexual."

1SkyCaptain1
1SkyCaptain1

Do any of you need any more proof that this assault on our laws by perverts is nothing more then a frontal assault on what it is to be family. The only hope for these miscreants is to have the freedom of perversion held in higher regard then the freedom of religion; imagine the 14th Amendments non expressed right to perversion trumping the expressed freedom of religion identified in the 1st Amendment.

After we get done putting this assault down I say we reinstate laws dealing with these miscreants as original prescribed by the founders of our nation.

RalleySee
RalleySee

SkyCaptain: Jesus must be really proud of you for calling homosexuals "miscreants" and "perverts" and for your expression of hostility, anger, and bigotry towards those whom you dislike, the gay outcasts of society and the least of your brothers. He was always going after those homosexuals, and verbal abusing those he felt superior to. He was always making sure that his loyal followers spent their time focusing on everybody else's sins, as that makes one's own sins seem so insignificant.

What a great model of Jesus you are! Thanks for showing the heathens what true Christianity is and leading by example.

August241965
August241965

I can see why you folks would work so hard to redefine words; the actual descriptive of who you people are and what you people do does not paint a pretty picture of your depravity.

Depravity: A state of moral corruption

“When you belong to me you will hate what I hate”

Can you name the book this quote is from?

Leviticus 18:22 - You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Leviticus 20:13 - If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.

Romans 1:26-27 - For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

I Corinthians 6:9 (NIV) - Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

I Timothy 1:8-11 (NASB) - "But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted."

Your response only proves that you do not know the first thing about my God! I stand up for the children you seek to mislead…

This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

Benjamin Franklin

August241965
August241965

I can see why you folks would work so hard to redefine words; the actual descriptive of who you people are and what you people do does not paint a pretty picture of your depravity.

Depravity: A state of moral corruption

“When you belong to me you will hate what I hate”

Can you name the book this quote is from?

Leviticus 18:22 - You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Leviticus 20:13 - If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.

Romans 1:26-27 - For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

I Corinthians 6:9 (NIV) - Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

I Timothy 1:8-11 (NASB) - "But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted."

Your response only proves that you do not know the first thing about my God! I stand up for the children you seek to mislead…

This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

Benjamin Franklin

majii
majii

I'm a Christian, and the main thing I detest from so-called Christians today is the idea that they can take God's job. Any Christian who claims to know the mind of God is a despicable liar because the Bible tells us that no one can know the mind of God, and that God's mind is NOT like man's mind. Stop judging others! Step aside, and let God do his job. He doesn't need you. How can you make judgments about others when it is God who will judge us all? Have you forgotten that we will all be saved by God's grace? Have you forgotten that the Bible teaches individual responsibility? Stop meddling in the business of others and concentrate on saving your own soul!

1SkyCaptain1
1SkyCaptain1

"When you belong to me you will hate what I hate"

Being a Christian I imagine you can probably tell us what book this quote is taken from?

If you do not hate what he hates can you really call yoursel a Christian?

God judged same sex relations a sin; who are you to question God's judgment?

Leviticus 18:22 - You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 - If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.

This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature. Benjamin Franklin

History does not speak well of your depravity

aliencountryboy
aliencountryboy

For your knowledge , 90 percent of the pervert crimes, like child abuse, sexual abuse inside the so holy family, rape and incest , which are all against the constitution, the bible and what every else you may use to verify your opinion are taking place in your picture perfect straight family.

Wake up........

1SkyCaptain1
1SkyCaptain1

97% to 98% of the population are right minded; so the only thing your numbers do is point out the fact the same sex enthusiasts are (40) times more likely to molest a child.

Case in point: Every single Catholic Priest caught up in that churches child abuse scandal are self identified "homosexuals."

The numbers do not favor your side in the least!

Perverts need to perver the world around them in order to lend the appearance of acceptability to their depravity.

Guest
Guest

When you eventually come out, I hope you come back to this post and atone for your bigotry. Until then, I urge you to vocalize these sentiments everywhere possible -- all you do is convince regular Americans that the sole motivation for these discriminatory laws is animus, pure and simple.

God bless.

dolcevespa
dolcevespa

taleteller...sorry I hope he's never on our team....good ole CAPTIAN...whatever that is.

1SkyCaptain1
1SkyCaptain1

Being bigoted against an activity is not a crime. The truly disgusting thing about your cause is in your demands for the right to use your God given gift of freedom to deny yourself and everybody else access to the source of your freedom.

It is like laying claim to the water, but being offended by the waters source - pure stupidity.

"We have our freedom because of our faith; we do not have our faith because of our freedom." George W. Bush

The right of conscience and free exercise thereof as outlined in the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution not only guarantees us the right to vote our conscience; it also insures us that our vote will be counted as equal to everybody else’s vote.

This fact was recently dismissed out of hand by a pervert jurist in the State of California.

Free your mind
Free your mind

And yet again your comments are utterly ridiculous. I pity your misunderstanding in life. I am truly sorry for you that you cannot live and let live and rather choose to live in a state of anger and hatred. Unfortunately the comments you make continue to fuel violence and hatred in this world. May you find an open heart sometime in your lifetime and may you find peace and compassion. May you learn to understand what it is to be peaceful and compassionate. Until such a time, may you find silence in your condemnation of others. Give the world a break angry one, living in judgment of others is a worthless task. Quit commenting on things you do not like and think on your own happiness. By the way, if you are still fixated on judging others you have not found happiness in yourself. Peace.

Franck
Franck

Sooo... you're arguing that the first amendment applies to you but not to gays? Sorry, but that's the only part I understood in your angry diatribe.

ssparks123
ssparks123

I, for one, am thrilled about this latest development. It shows that people are finally waking up to reality and recognizing that our constitution does not allow for laws that discriminate against citizens of the United States. All citizens are entitled to EQUAL protection under our laws. Currently, our laws do NOT provide for equal protection, as gays and lesbians are discriminated against on a daily basis. The Obama administration and the DOJ are absolutely correct in refusing to defend the stupid Defense of Marriage Act because it is patently unconstitutional.

I'm tired of the religious wackos using their religious beliefs to justify hateful, mean-spirited and discriminatory laws that violate our constitution. You are certainly entitled to hold whatever beliefs you want under the 1st Amendment, but our laws must be created and maintained without regard to religion. This is not a "frontal assault" on anything -- it is an effort to right a wrong that has been in place far too long. 40 years ago, I'm guessing you were arguing that mixed-race marriage cases were a "frontal assault" on what it means to be a family. Look who is the jacka$$ now, huh?

Get over it. It's happening. In the not-so-distant future, gays and lesbians will enjoy full and equal rights in this country, just as the constitution intended. And I, for one, cannot wait.

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