Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« The Unveiling | Nominate Your Least Favorite S... »

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on July 2 at 7:43 AM

I have a simple question regarding the now legal same sex marriage in California: Does it grant citizenship to foreigners who marry US citizens?

I ask because you recently claimed to have read the 140 page supreme court decision twice so I figure you’re as much an expert as anyone—at least more than anyone I know. I’m a gay U.S. American living in France. I’m able to have French citizenship under local laws, but can my boyfriend get American citizenship if we take a trip to California next time we’re visiting my family in Washington State?

My natural instinct is to say no, but it’s a pressing issue for us and it’s definitely worth finding out. If my country won’t grant him citizenship but his will, I have no choice but to leave America for a country that treats us both fairly. How can we call ourselves a free country if US citizens like myself get better treatment elsewhere?

American Emigrating for Equal Rights

Sorry, AEFER.

When California’s Supreme Court struck down a ban on gay marriage in May, becoming the second state after Massachusetts to allow same-sex nuptials, Boyadjian said she was inundated with congratulatory calls from friends believing the couple’s problems were solved.

But the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirms that nothing changes with the California court’s ruling… Binational couples could make matters worse if they wed since getting married signals intent to stay in the United States.

“We cannot get married in California without jeopardizing Margot’s future visa applications,” said Boyadjian.

RSS icon Comments


I've wondered about this for a long time. The only reason my husband can live in the US with me legally is because of the fiance visa and the ensuing green card he's entitled to because of our marriage. It was already an unbelievable amount of paperwork, waiting and frustration and we were in a legitimate and hetero relationship, so I can only imagine how awful it would be to try to get a fiance visa or spouse visa for a same sex couple. Our immigration laws suck by the way, in case anyone wondered.

Posted by nicole | July 2, 2008 8:02 AM

Go live in France pussy you faggots!

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 2, 2008 8:09 AM

@1: How awful? Under current law, impossible.

Don't get married in CA if you don't want to jeopardize your future non-immigrant visa applications. It's a very sad fact.

Posted by gavastik | July 2, 2008 8:11 AM

Mark Mitchell FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Say, wasn't someone going to make shirts with that? I would have loved to wear one to Pride...

Posted by Mike in MO | July 2, 2008 8:51 AM

Hilarious! Using my hetero rights, I can enter into a fully legal, government-blessed marriage with a foreign woman I have never met solely for the purpose of circumventing immigration laws, but the government refuses to recognize legitimately formed relationships? Protection of marriage my goddamn ass!

Posted by StopTheMadness | July 2, 2008 9:30 AM

So, the gay marriage thing is really just a plot to get those foreign queers to identify themselves and provide a reason to get shipped out of the country. Very, very clever.

@5 No. You can't. I think the government gets a little nosy when citizenship is involved.

Posted by umvue | July 2, 2008 9:38 AM

@5: Not exactly; in the last ten years the US has gotten a lot tougher on fiancee and spousal visas and punishments for fraud are fairly severe. You could still do it, but you'd be risking denial and/or civil and criminal penalties.

That said, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone; the CA decision was based on the CA state constitution, so it has no ramifications for federal recognition of those marriages. As long as the Federal Government doesn't have to recognize same-sex marriages, it doesn't have to give same-sex partners visas or green cards based on those marriages.

(Honestly, as recently as the '80s homosexuality was grounds for denying someone their green card and deporting them, and being HIV-positive is still grounds for removal. Our immigration law is NOT progressive.)

Posted by Ursula | July 2, 2008 9:57 AM

OK, the guy has a French boyfriend/fiance and the right to live in France, but he wants to come back here? Insanity.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 2, 2008 10:47 AM

Get married in Canada and sue for your rights under NAFTA.

Problem solved.

But, yeah, why wouldn't you choose France instead - an EU passport is gold!

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 2, 2008 11:04 AM

Immigration Equality, one of the organizations mentioned in the Reuters article linked to, is trying to get a bill passed in Congress that would let same-sex couples sponsor each other for immigration -- it's called the Uniting American Families Act and you can learn more here:

Posted by Ellen | July 2, 2008 11:23 AM

6 and 7: Actually, yes I can. I went through the process (for my legitimate marriage), and it wasn't that tough. Just paperwork, patience and some cash. If one were so inclined, it wouldn't be too difficult to supply the "proof" the CIS requested to show that we had entered the relationship in good faith. It's not that hard to open a sham bank account, sign a lease "together," and get a few buddies to sign some affidavits. When they interviewed us, they were more concerned about drug use and communist sympathies than the legitimacy of our relationship.

Posted by StopTheMadness | July 2, 2008 9:00 PM

...though I will concede I may have been given some preferential treatment because I am in the military.

Posted by StopTheMadness | July 2, 2008 9:03 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.