Why Marriage Matters to Binational Couples
Approximately 35,820 of the 594,391 same-sex unmarried partner couples counted in Census 2000 are binational couples (couples in which the partners are citizens of different countries). Among binational couples, more than a third of same-sex male couples and 58% of female same-sex couples report having children under age 18 in the home. These children are less likely to be citizens than children raised by binational married couples.
Because same-sex couples are excluded from marriage by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), binational same-sex couples are unable to keep their families together in the United States. American citizens in such relationships are unable to sponsor their foreign partner like other married couples are, and therefore, are needlessly separated from their loved ones. Along with our continued work to win marriage nationwide, Freedom to Marry supports the Uniting American Families Act, which was proposed in Congress to allow American citizens to sponsor their partner, and stop separating families.
Freedom to Marry has also spoken out against offensive anti-immigrant measures, such as Arizona’s SB1070 passed in May 2010. Such measures invite discrimination and abuse, and are part of an anti-immigrant hysteria that is inimical to America's interests and the Golden Rule.
Blog Posts Related to Binational Couples
In recent years, Sion has learned the power of photography, and he has worked hard to develop his photographic passions in order to share stories of why marriage matters, how same-sex couples share the same love and commitment that different-sex couples share, and why DOMA needs to be overturned.
When Juka Mendes moved to the US on a student visa, he never expected to fall in love. But he did, and got married to Air Force member Jonathan Malumay. Now, Juka can no longer afford his education, and in April his visa expires. As a service member, Jonathan is eligible for an education grant that he should be able to transfer to his husband, but because DOMA does not respect his marriage, he cannot do so.
This afternoon in Las Vegas, NV, President Barack Obama presented the White House's proposal for immigration reform. The proposal includes extending protections to binational same-sex couples, where one partner is a United States citizen and the other is not.
Resources Related to Binational Couples
Penn State law professor, Victor C. Romero, examines marriage equality and it’s impact on binational couples in the APA community.
Story of a binational same-sex couple at the mercy of the Defense of Marriage Act, presented by GLAD.
In this report, binational couples tell stories of abuse by immigration officials and even deportation.