'Our laws should bring families together, not tear them apart,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today lauded the introduction of the Uniting American Families Act in the House of Representatives and Senate - a bill that would treat same-sex couples the same as opposite sex-couples for the purposes of immigration. The bill was previously named the Permanent Partners Immigration Act.
"Our nation should bring families together, not tear them apart," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Same-sex binational couples are often forced to separate because the government views them as strangers under the law."
The bill was introduced today in the House and Senate by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., respectively, along with a large number of bipartisan co-sponsors from both chambers.
"The 2000 Census reports nearly 36,000 couples living in same-sex binational couples in the U.S.," said Adam Francoeur, program coordinator of Immigration Equality. "The Uniting American Families Act upholds the stated principle within U.S. immigration policy to promote family unification. We applaud Senator Leahy and Congressman Nadler for including LGBT families within that principle."
"It is time that the United States caught up with the growing list of countries around the world that have instituted fair and consistent immigration policies for same-sex couples," said Solmonese.
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.
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