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Gay Immigration
Bill Heads to Congress

Gay Immigration
Bill Heads to Congress

New York representative Jerrold Nadler will reintroduce a bill on February 12 that would allow gay Americans to sponsor their foreign-born domestic partners for U.S. citizenship.

New York representative Jerrold Nadler will reintroduce a bill on February 12 that would allow gay Americans to sponsor their foreign-born domestic partners for U.S. citizenship.

The 2009 version of the Uniting American Families Act, which is to be introduced on Thursday, has 43 original cosponsors, according to Nadler's spokesman Ilan Kayatsky, with the list of cosponsors growing as the date of introduction approaches.

The bill is currently unchanged from Nadler's original House bill, introduced in May 2007, which ended up with 118 congressional cosponsors.

Gays cannot currently sponsor their partners for citizenship because, in the eyes of the federal government, same-sex partners cannot be considered spouses. The proposed legislation would require binational same-sex couples to prove that they intend lifelong commitment to one another as permanent partners, that they are financially interdependent, that they are currently unmarried to anyone else, that they are unrelated to each other, and that they are unable to "contract with that person a marriage cognizable under the Immigration and Nationality Act," according to the original bill. The bill would also change terminology to define those couples as "permanent partners" instead of "spouses." (Michelle Garcia, Advocate.com)

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