Friday, September 25, 2020

DOMA Ruling to Aid Undocumented LGBT Couples

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The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act for being unconstitutional is projected to help undocumented same-sex couples be treated equally and fairly under U.S immigration laws.

“This discriminatory law denied thousands of legally married same-sex couples many important federal benefits, including immigration benefits,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. According to the Center for American Progress, there are at least 267,000 LGBT identified individuals among the undocumented population.

The Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, was a law established in 1996 that defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The law denied federal benefits – about 1,000 of them – to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal.

The elimination of DOMA will also affect the 24,700 bi-national same-sex couples around the country, preventing future deportations.

In recent years, Latino support for gay marriage has grown dramatically. According to a recent poll, 62% of Latino Catholics support gay marriage. Last year, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Hispanic Center found that 52% of Latinos favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Additionally, a poll from Latino Decisions found that 64% of Latinos voters said comprehensive immigration reform should include the same rights for gay couples as heterosexual couples.

“This Supreme Court decision affirms that all families and individuals should be treated fairly and with justice,” said Jorge Gutierrez, the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) Coordinator for United We Dream. “We will keep fighting for full equality and immigration reform to ensure that all immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of LGBT immigrants, are included in immigration reform with a clear, direct path to citizenship and fair treatment for all.”

NBC Latino