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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

MAYOR OF TEXAS TOWN LEAVES COUNTRY TO BE WITH SAME-SEX PARTNER

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This is a decision thousands of couples face every year in America thanks to the anachronistic Defense of Marriage Act:

The mayor of this West Texas sheep ranching town offered a stunning
explanation when he suddenly resigned: He was in love with a man who
was an illegal immigrant and had gone to Mexico.

They had to move, he said, because there was no legal way for them to remain together in the United States.


"It wasn't a decision that any U.S. citizen should have to make,"
former Mayor J.W. Lown said in an interview from Mexico. "I left a
home. I left a ranch. I left a promising political career."

His
local prominence and his run for the border on the day he was supposed
to be sworn in for a fourth term caused jaws to drop, but it also
became a high-profile example of the thousands of Americans who face a
similar choice -- separate or move abroad -- because they can't secure
green cards for their partners like heterosexual spouses can.

President Obama mentioned in his NBC interview this week that he doesn't think the Federal government should be in the business of defining marriage when he was explaining why he didn't want to tell states to legalize same sex marriage. That cuts both ways, however. The Defense of Marriage Act says the federal government won't recognize same sex unions even if they are in one of the growing number of states allowing for such marriages. Isn't that, in fact, the federal government taking a position on what should be a legal marriage? It's time to pass a bill allowing same sex couples immigration rights and it's time to scrap the Defense of Marriage Act and live up to our country's ideals when it comes to civil rights.

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