Comment: Marriage Equality And Immigration - On Friday, June 24, 2011, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill permitting same-sex couples to be wed in the Empire State as from July 24th. This action by New York doubles the population of the country with marriage equality (joining Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa and DC). What does this mean for immigration policy? Despite Attorney General Holder’s statement that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional (see DoJ press release saying “... classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has  concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional“); USCIS continues to deny I-130 petitions filed by bi-national same-sex couples, legally married in the states with competent jurisdiction. The constitutional status of DOMA, and by extension bi-national same-sex couples, remains in flux; indeed a number of court cases in various district and circuit jurisdictions are alive as of this writing. However, New York’s action points to the future course of where the national conversation on marriage equality is tending. Stay tuned to Immigration Daily for the latest.
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