Senate Hearing Held on Uniting American Families Act
The US Senate Judiciary Committee held the first-ever congressional hearing yesterday on immigration rights for gay and lesbian couples. The hearing focused on the Uniting American Families Act, which seeks "to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents"
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and is a sponsor of this legislation, said in a statement: "For too long, gay and lesbian American citizens whose partners are foreign nationals have been denied the ability to sponsor their loved ones for lawful permanent residency. Under current immigration law, many citizens have been forced to choose between their country and their loved ones. No American should face such a choice."
According to Immigration Equality, there are approximately 36,000 same sex couples that are separated or facing separation because US immigration laws do not allow sponsorship by same sex partners. About half of the affected couples are currently raising children.
Media Resources: Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy 6/3/09; US Senate Bill 424; Immigration Equality Press Release 6/1/09
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries and a delegation from the United States. . . .