Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage benefits immigrants

Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage benefits immigrants

After hearing about the two Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage Wednesday morning my husband and I wondered if 50 years ago our partnership would have been prohibited.

We have an intercultural and interethnic marriage. He is a white man and I'm a Hispanic woman. He's an immigrant and I'm a U.S. citizen.

We were grateful that our marriage was allowed although we had to go through a lot of immigration paperwork.

The court ruling also should mean that U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to sponsor their same-sex partners.

"With the Supreme Court's decision today, it appears that the anti-discrimination principle that I have long advocated will apply to our immigration laws and binational couples and their families can now be united under the law," Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told  Reuters.

Leahy supported adding a same-sex marriage amendment to the immigration reform bill but many conservative senators would have voted against it. Now it is not necessary.

There are an estimated 24,700 binational LGBT couples that now should be allowed to sponsor foreign-born spouses for green cards, according to Think Progress.

One of the groups that had been most opposed to gay marriage is Latinos.

But Latino support for gay marriage has changed in recent years.

For the first time, more Latinos support gay marriage than oppose it. In a 2012 Pew Hispanic Center survey, 52 percent supported gay marriage compared with 34 percent who do not. Six years ago, the numbers were reversed with 31 percent in favor and 56 percent opposed.

It's significant that the Latino community support gay marriage and the binational couples that want the opportunity to reside in the U.S.

The Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and now married same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits. The court also declined to decide a case in California essentially allowing same-sex marriages in that state.

However, the court did not rule whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage and some state still have laws banning gay marriage.

People should be allowed to love and marry whoever they want regardless of gender or of their nationality.

The Supreme Court made history by making us all a little bit more equal under the law.

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