Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Obama Administration Upholds Defense of Marriage Act

The San Francisco Chronicle website SFGate reports, "Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse."

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996 whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.

Carolyn Lochhead, from the SF Chronicle Washington Bureau, reports, "Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk's application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples."

Wells pleaded with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and President Obama to intervene but to no avail.

Somehow Wells believes he is being singled out by a nefarious government. Lochhead quotes Wells as saying, "Anyone can identify with the horror of having the government come in and destroy your family when you've done nothing wrong, and you've done everything right, followed every law,"

Well Wells, this "horror" happens all the time. American laws must be upheld and in this case is clear as glass. To try to get special treatment because of your and your partner's lifestyle is not justification for U.S. citizenship and its benefits. This action by Wells and Makk is nothing more than a back door way of weakening DOMA. Wells has an out. According to Lochhead, "Wells could move to Australia, but he said doing so would require him to give up his extensive medical care and insurance in the United States." Love or health care coverage, which will Wells choose?

Perhaps moving to Australia is the best option for Wells?

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