Monday , May 25 2020
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Same-Sex Marriage

WRITTEN BY: Narisara P. Jongjarearn -Tasanont, Attorney at Law

Same-Sex Marriage

In June of 2013, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. I recall that day vividly as I was at an immigration lawyers association meeting in San Francisco. When news broke out there were cheers of approval from virtually every attorney in the room, myself included. This issue has long been debated and to see such rights extended to same-sex couples can be considered a victory for humankind. The Supreme Court decision overturned The Defense of Marriage Act, which banned recognition of same-sex marriages and defined a marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

Currently, same-sex marriages are licensed and recognized in all U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Federal agencies have implemented the ruling as it applies to federal benefits in a swift and smooth manner. With regard to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, they review immigrant visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed for opposite-sex couples.

I still get questions on this topic and it appears that some people are not aware of this right. Anyone in a same-sex marriage, where one spouse is a US citizen and the other spouse is here illegally, can have a petition for legal permanent residence filed by the US citizen spouse.

There are many issues to consider when filing a petition for a married couple, whether same-sex or not, but there may be a few more areas that need expert review and analysis before filing anything with the immigration when it comes to same-sex petitions. Remember that only an attorney can give you legal advice and analyze your situation. A form filler or paralegal cannot give you legal advice and cannot represent you or speak on your behalf.

If you are in same-sex marriage and would like to file for a petition for your spouse, call me to schedule a consultation today. You can reach me at 323-704-6355 or 323-664-7131.

Narisara P. Jongjarearn-Tasanont works out of her law office in Los Angeles.
She also the Executive Director of the Thai American Citizens Alliance.
She is an active member of the State Bar of California and the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association. You can contact her at 323-664-7131 or 323-704-6355
with your immigration questions. The contents of this article are not
intended as individualized legal advice.

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