Screen shot 2011-03-09 at 2.37.20 PMEmboldened by the Obama administration's announcement they will no longer defend part of the Defense of Marriage Act in Court, an immigration rights group is trying to put together a case to sue the federal government for preventing married gay people from sponsoring their spouses for citizenship.
Heterosexual Americans can apply for their foreign-born spouses to become citizens, but gay Americans cannot, even in states where gay marriage is legal.
Erwin de Leon, a public policy PhD student originally from the Philippines, told The Lookout that even though he's married to his partner of 13 years, he faces the prospect of having to leave the United States when his student visa runs out. In a bizarre twist, de Leon's mother--who married a male U.S. citizen--is now trying to sponsor her son for a green card, since De Leon's own husband cannot.
"She met my step-dad, fell in love, got married and since he happens to be an American citizen, she got sponsored and in three months got a green card," de Leon said of his mother. "And now she's sponsoring me but it could take about 12 to 15 years for her petition to come through."
"If gay marriage were recognized federally, I'd be a citizen by now."
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