Bipartisan Bill Would Ensure Gay Bi-National Couples Equal Treatment
From www.365gay.com (bolding by Julien's List):
(Washington) Legislation was introduced in Congress Tuesday that would treat same-sex couples the same as opposite sex-couples for the purposes of immigration.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in the House and Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt) in the Senate, has a large number of bipartisan cosponsors in both chambers.
The Uniting American Families Act was previously named the Permanent Partners Immigration Act which died when the last session of Congress ended.
Nadler said he expected the new measure to fare better because it has broader support.
The move was hailed by LGBT civil rights groups.
"Our nation should bring families together, not tear them apart," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
"Same-sex bi-national couples are often forced to separate because the government views them as strangers under the law."
Adam Francoeur, Program Coordinator of Immigration Equality said that the 2000 Census reports nearly 36,000 couples living in same-sex bi-national relationships in the U.S.
"The Uniting American Families Act upholds the stated principle within U.S. immigration policy to promote family unification," said Francoeur.
At least 16 countries recognize same-sex couples for the purposes of immigration including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom.