The LGBT Community Sees Revolutionary Immigration Change

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has made it official:  U.S. citizens and permanent residents filing visa petitions for same-sex spouses can expect that they will be adjudicated using essentially the same criteria as petitions for opposite-sex spouses.  This represents a revolutionary change for a class of people who were long officially characterized as having "psychopathic personality" and thereby being excludable from the United States.

This development comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in the Windsor v. U.S. case declaring Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. 

The usual rule that a marriage must be valid in the jurisdiction where it was contracted will apply; however, couples residing in any of the 37 states that do not recognize same-sex marriages will generally be eligible for approval of spouse visa petitions.

Legal excludability of people identified as homosexual ended only in 1990; however, a 1979 decision by the U.S. Public Health Service not to issue certifications in such cases led to the Immigration and Naturalization Service's adopting something like a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Just the same, as late as 1984 an immigrant was denied U.S. citizenship and threatened with deportation after admitting he was gay. 

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