Out4Immigration (O4I) is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization addressing the widespread discriminatory impact of US immigration laws on LGBT Americans in loving and committed relationships with a same-sex partner from another country. Due to federal laws that continue to define “spouse” as a relationship only between a man and a woman, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which prohibits the federal government from recognizing our relationships, Americans in same-sex binational relationships remain unable to keep their families together in this country by sponsoring their foreign partners for legal residency in the US.
Until DOMA repeal takes place, The Uniting American Families Act (or UAFA, House Bill 1537 and Senate Bill 821), seeks to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act by adding the designation “permanent partners” wherever one finds the word “spouse”. This is a temporary fix to discriminatory laws that will give same-sex binational couples access to the system already in place for heterosexual couples to sponsor a foreign spouse for legal residency.
We are asking Representatives and Senators to support equal immigration rights for same-sex binational couples by becoming co-sponsors of the Uniting American Families Act. We also seek the active support of President Obama and Secretary Napolitano to secure the bill’s passage.
The effort to end this discrimination through UAFA is well over a decade old. Awareness is growing about this injustice and the many injurious facets of DOMA and how that legislation impacts this issue. Ultimately, DOMA must be repealed. Until that day, our fight to achieve immigration equality is being waged on three fronts: legislatively, with bills like UAFA; judicially, with the Department of Justice decision to no longer defend DOMA in court as well as several important rulings this year which have closed cases against foreign spouses of Americans facing deportation; and administratively, with pressure being applied to the President, the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to exercise their power judiciously to stop deporting and separating loving couples.
This petition focuses on a legislative fix for this problem by targeting members of the House who have been previous co-sponsors of UAFA, as well as President Obama and Secretary Napolitano. By signing and promoting this petition, you will help us encourage these individuals to support this bill and raise awareness that there are many avenues to correct the immigration discrimination faced by same-sex binational couples. We ask that our government and elected officials use their powers and influence to fix the problem - now.
We encourage you to take part in this campaign by using any of these options:
(1) The easiest one. By signing this week's petition on this Change.org page, you will be sending the same letters to our eighteen targets of this petition, all at once. You can also provide the link to your friends and family to take action too, as well as promote on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites you may use;
(2) Contact each of the elected officials targeted here with your own letter, your own story; or
(3) Create a booklet telling your story. See http://tinyurl.com/o4i-toolkit1 for more info on this option.
(4) Look for past petitions on our page at http://www.change.org/out4immigration/petitions and sign those petitions too.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to call our recent co-sponsors and thank them for their support. Let’s hit our target of 1000 signers this week. Please share this widely, and thank you for taking action!!!
You can visit Out4Immigration at its website, through its Yahoo Group Page, on Facebook and Twitter, or at its blog. If you know someone in a same-sex binational relationship, please encourage them to speak up and get involved. The time for justice is now!