Cross-border lurve

June 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

In another crack at tackling same-sex relationships, the US Congress is taking a look at how immigration laws and policy discriminate against same-sex couples when one partner seeks to bring their foreign partner to live in the US.

This form of migration, also known as spousal or partner sponsorship, is a stressful fact faced by many couples– straight or gay– and is used by governments to discriminate on any grounds they chose. Grounds for discrimination, usually non-appealable (immigration is a universe unto itself), include race, religion, country of origin and, of course, sexuality. Immigration policy has a checklist for application. For straight marriages, usually proof of registration of a marriage is the first step followed by formality towards getting the requisite visa or citizenship papers. Not so for gay couples – as if you didn’t already know.

Just another form of discrimination against LGBTs you might say but, if you’ll indulge me, migration is slightly different. It’s a choice that can not only make or break a relationship but almost certainly will cut off all your native rights for the tenuous half-promise of new ones at the mercy of a foreign government. The wannabe migrant is vulnerable and open to unprecedented invasive scrutiny by officials, and she/he must withstand it alone.

Speaking as a migrant to Australia who arrived under a same-sex partnership visa, the choice to uproot and put myself completely in my partner’s trust was easy. It was right. Same-sex migration is a calculated risk – you never know the outcome and all you can do is overprepare. It helped that Australia takes great pains to show equality towards all partner migrations.

I’m all for governments reviewing their immigration policies towards fairness for any couple seeking to undertake the big move. Including same-sex couples should be part of a greater equitable policy that does not recognise race, gender, religion or nationality as grounds for exclusion, with the follow-on effect that equity be inherent in all government policies. As we assume it should be in this day and age, yes?

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Entry filed under: Equity, Legal, Politiko. Tags: , .

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Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.