Congress should pass an
act to allow gay and lesbian citizens the
same right to sponsor committed same-sex partners for U.S.
citizenship that heterosexual citizens already enjoy as a
benefit of federal marriage,
TheWashington Postsaid Monday in an editorial.
The proposed bill by
Vermont senator Patrick Leahy and New York representative
Jerrold Nadler would afford binational gay and lesbian couples
the same rights that heterosexual couples have when they marry
their foreign-born spouse, giving the spouse a family-based
sponsorship into the country.
Currently 16 countries,
including Canada and South Africa, allow residents to sponsor
same-sex partners to become citizens. While some gay couples
can be married in Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as a
handful of foreign countries, the U.S. government, which
regulates immigration, does not recognize
state-granted same-sex marriages, domestic
partnerships, or civil unions.
"The strain of the
status quo on gay and lesbian binational couples should not be
wrote. "Because their relationships are not legally
recognized by the United States, some couples have resorted to
illegal marriages where the foreign nationals marry Americans
to get green cards that allow them to stay in the country