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Lesbian & Gay Immigrant Families File Suit Challenging Federal Defense of Marriage Act
NEW YORK, April 2, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Five Couples Ask Court to Recognize Families for U.S. Immigration Purposes
Five lesbian and gay couples filed suit today in the Eastern District of New York, challenging Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents lesbian and gay American citizens from sponsoring their spouses for green cards. The lawsuit, filed on the couples' behalf by Immigration Equality and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, alleges that DOMA violates the couples' constitutional right to equal protection.
"Solely because of DOMA and its unconstitutional discrimination against same-sex couples," the lawsuit states, "these Plaintiffs are being denied the immigration rights afforded to other similarly situated binational couples." Were the Plaintiffs opposite-sex couples, the suit says, "the federal government would recognize the foreign spouse as an 'immediate relative' of a United States citizen, thereby allowing the American spouse to petition for an immigrant visa for the foreign spouse, and place [them] on the path to lawful permanent residence and citizenship."