The Department of Homeland Security has announced a proposal that would allow same-sex couples, among others, to cross the border together.
Specifically, the rule would expand the definition of “members of a family residing in one household” to include domestic relationships, as well as families comprising foster children, legal wards, half-siblings and stepchildren.
Prior to the announcement, gay and lesbian couples were required to pass through separately; this was because the policy specifically addressed married couples, and was thus under the jurisdiction of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The proposed rule will be published Tuesday, March 27 and be open for public comment until May 26.
“Separating families in the customs line was a waste of government resources and a painful symbol of the double standard LGBT families face at the federal level,” Immigration Equality executive director Rachel Tiven told the Washington Blade. “This proposal ends that insult. It sends an unmistakable message that the administration, and the United States, recognize gay families as ‘real families,’ too.”
The folks at the Richmond Business Alliance have a special event planned for those interested in better understanding how the downfall of DOMA will affect same-sex couples here in VA. Attorney Katie D. Fletcher, financial advisor Patrick McAleer, and CPA Glen Cooper will all speak about their respective industries and how LGBTQ Virginians can utilize them [...]