Friday, June 5, 2009

The Uniting American Families Act

The Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1024 and S. 424) are bills that will allow partners of United States Citizens to be granted citizenship if they are in the country and in a long-term, permanent relationship. As you know, an resident alien is in the country and marries a person with U.S. citizenship, then they can apply for citizenship themselves.

However, since LGBT people cannot marry, they are not given this ability. So, to fix that, Senators and Representatives have introduced the UAFA to help fix this problem. It would define a permanent partner as:

The term "permanent partner" means an individual 18 years of age or older who--
(A) is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 years of age or older in which both parties intend a lifelong commitment;
(B) is financially interdependent with that other individual;
(C) is not married to or in a permanent partnership with anyone other than that other individual;
(D) is unable to contract with that other individual a marriage cognizable under this Act; and
(E) is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of that other individual.

The bills currently have 102 co-sponsors in the House, and 19 in the Senate.

Jeff Sessions took this opportunity to show his lack of empathy for LGBT Families during the testimony of a mother yesterday.

[O]ne of Tan’s children started crying within seconds of the start of her testimony. … For most people, the sight of a 12-year-old boy in tears at the prospect of his mother being deported halfway around the world would invoke some sympathy. Unmoved, however, was Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, ranking minority member of the Committee and the only Republican to bother to attend the hearing. At the sight of the weeping boy, according to a Senate staffer who was at the hearing, Sessions leaned towards one of his aides and sighed, “Enough with the histrionics.”