Immigration and Same Sex Marriages

A Filipino woman sponsored by her employer to become a green card holder has been unable to obtain residency, through a waiver, in the United States to be with her American spouse, due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which does not allow the US government to recognize same sex marriages.  A suit has been filed on behalf of the woman by her American spouse in an effort to bring her to the US to be with her spouse.  Under the act the relationship between the two women does not qualify as a relationship recognized by the Act.  Additionally, the suit is seeking an injunction to prevent the deportation of individuals who have a same sex marriage that would otherwise be granted legal status in the US.

Given the various international legal documents that have provided for the rights of all humans, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations, should the international community have a unified voice in support of same sex marriages, particularly in regards to immigration issues?  On the other hand, the strong religious views of individuals from different faiths in support or against the same sex marriages could lead to greater tensions amongst the international community.  The sensitivity of the issue has presumably lead nations and international organizations to leave the issue alone.  Perhaps the sovereignty of Nations should not be intruded upon by a larger international effort and the issue should continue to be dealt with by each Nation differently.  Furthermore, the sovereignty of Nations in regards to immigration in general may also be jeopardized by any uniform international pressure.  How should this issue be approached: through international efforts or the preservation of governmental sovereignty?

The article outlining more on the Immigration struggle of the Filipino woman can be found here.


  1. If each state has the power to choose whether or not it will legalize same sex marriage, is it possible to have an international or federal law legalizing same sex marriage? Could the U.S.recognize same sex marriages for immigration, enough to avoid people’s loved ones from being deported?

    In a democracy, it has not been possible to have unanimous agreement on this topic. About a year ago, New York passed legislation that legally recognized same sex marriages. But, other states have chosen to stray away from even proposing such a law. What if legalization came from the President? Even with President Obama recently stating “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” a White House aide followed up with stating “It’s not like we’re trying to pass legislation.”

    For more on Obama’s statement, read the N.Y. Times article at

  2. As far as society has come in recognizing the civil rights and liberties of different groups, it seems as though there is always a new group left behind. After all of this progress, it is, in my opinion, outrageous that the rights of same sex couples are not yet recognized. As Christina points out, very few states have taken steps to enforce the rights of same sex marriages. While such laws have been passed in New York, there is still discontent about and some judges, whether publicly or not, refuse to perform marriages for same sex couples. In democracies, there is always the problem that the minority do not have the strength to change things as a small group. When working to overcome violations of civil rights, governments rarely can provide a speedy and efficient solution. Instead of waiting until voter support builds, the international community needs to take action and place its force behind this movement.

  3. It is a long process. First, we have to get every State to recognize same sex marriage. This is going to take some time because of different cultural and religious beliefs, but it will happen eventually. Once every State finally recognizes same sex marriage the Federal Government can jump on board. It would be nice if same sex marriage was declared a constitutional right. I think it might happen years from now. Until all this unravels we are going to see a whole lot of horrible stories of people having issues crossing borders as “married” when they are same sex couples. It really is a shame, but we will get there. It is a process, a long, slow process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *