Thursday, April 14, 2011

Uniting American Families Act Introduced in US Congress

The Uniting American Families Act is being introduced today in the House and Senate.

In the House, UAFA will be introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif) in a press conference this afternoon.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will introduce the legislation in the Senate.

UAFA would allow gay and lesbian American citizens to sponsor their permanent partners for legal residency in the United States, a right currently enjoyed only by married straight couples. 

It would accomplish this by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to to permit permanent partners of US citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents.

They key is that "spouse" becomes "permanent partner," thus allowing gay couples - whose marriages or partnerships are not recognized under federal law - to sponsor one another for legal residency.

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