Immigration

Gay immigrants: Washington Post says to halt deportations of immigrants in same-sex unions

A Washington Post editorial reprinted today in the Denver Post calls for a moratorium on the deportation of gay immigrants who are legally married or in civil unions until after federal courts decide the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The editorial tells the story of Paul Wilson Dorman, an immigrant from the UK who came here on a visitor's visa in 1996 and never left -- and is now in a civil union with an American man.

Dorman has been targeted for deportation but is fighting it on the grounds that he should be able to stay because he is in a long-term, committed relationship. Two immigration courts ruled against him because same-sex relationships aren't recognized by DOMA. But the future of DOMA is questionable; the attorney general announced earlier this year that his office will no longer defend the law in court.

Dorman's case is now before the Virginia-based Board of Immigration Appeals, which hears appeals of immigration cases from around the country.

Earlier this month, we brought you the stories of two GLBT immigrants in the cover story "Coming Out to America." Though neither of their stories involves same-sex marriage, they provide a window into a growing yet often misunderstood area of immigration law.

More from our Immigration archives: "Gay immigration: What is it like to be gay in El Salvador? Report to the U.N. details the horrors."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar