American Same-sex couples heading north with heavy heart

CIC News
Published: April 1, 2006

As the American Senate debates new immigration policy, gays of America are complaining about the systemic discrimination disuniting bi-national same-sex couples.

A U.S. Census report concludes that there are at least 35,800 same-sex bi-national couples in the United States. However, the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge same-sex partners in its definition of "family." Moreover, the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” categorically denies federal recognition of same-sex relationships in regards to spousal immigration.

Charles Purdi, staff writer for the popular web portal Gay.com, recently wrote a poignant piece regarding America’s Immigration laws and how it affects the country’s same-sex couples. “It has become increasingly difficult to love a country [U.S.A.] that, much of the time, seems to be "not that into me," Purdi admits with a heavy heart. “A U.S. citizen who wants to build a committed relationship with someone of his or her own sex faces blatantly inequitable laws [in America],” says Purdi.

Every year there are more than 400,000 U.S. citizens who sponsor their spouses for American permanent residency. However, gay Americans who wish to build a committed relationship with a partner who happens to be from another country are forced to live in violation of U.S. immigration laws. “In effect, this country [U.S.A.] is not only turning away would-be Americans, but [is] also banishing American citizens for the crime of wanting to live with their partners,” explains Purdi.

Currently, there are seventeen countries which have “gay-friendly” immigration policies that recognize, in some form or another, same-sex relationships, including Canada. In fact, many Americans choose to migrate north of the border because Canada is recognized as a world leader in gay rights. Same-sex couples also cite Canada’s beauty, people, and progressive human rights policies as reasons they choose the Great White North.

For Purdi, whose significant other is Canadian, the decision has already been made; it’s Canada or bust. “Frankly, I'm ready to learn to love another country,” Purdi professes.

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