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Immigration Problems Targeted in Suit Challenging US Ban on Recognition of Gay Marriages

Posted Apr 3, 2012 9:07 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Five gay and lesbian couples have filed suit claiming a federal law barring recognition of same-sex marriages could force them to leave the country.

Because of the ban, gays who are U.S. citizens cannot sponsor their spouses for green cards, according to the New York Times and a press release. The plaintiffs say the law forces gay couples to choose between deportation for the spouse who is an immigrant, or exile for both spouses.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the couples by Immigration Equality and the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. The suit (PDF) claims the federal Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection guarantees.

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