“We urge DHS to hold marriage-based immigration petitions in abeyance until the Supreme Court issues its ruling on same-sex marriage. Holding these cases in abeyance for a few months will prevent hardship to LGBT immigrant families,” the senators wrote.
Under DOMA, federal immigration benefits do not extend to same-sex couples. First and 2nd circuit federal appeals courts have deemed DOMA unconstitutional — the Supreme Court will take the issue up later this year.
Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Obama defends Manning commutation after backlash | Mattis clears Senate panel Senate panel approves Mattis for Defense secretary Overnight Finance: Price puts stock trading law in spotlight | Lingering questions on Trump biz plan | Sanders, Education pick tangle over college costs MORE (D-N.Y.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalBuying that new-used car: Congress must put safety first Senate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick Justice requires higher standard than Sessions MORE (D-Conn.), Ron WydenRon WydenSenate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick GOP, Dems hear different things from Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ore.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerFeinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she'll run again Becerra formally nominated for Calif. attorney general 10 freshmen to watch in the new Congress MORE (D-Calif.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsTrump, Democrats can bridge divide to make college more affordable Senate Dems urge Sessions to abstain from voting on Trump’s Cabinet picks Booker to vote against Tillerson MORE (D-Del.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate swears in new members Van Hollen lands seat on Banking Committee MORE (D-Md.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseFive takeaways from Pruitt's EPA hearing Health pick’s trades put STOCK Act in spotlight Dems prepare to face off with Trump's pick to lead EPA MORE (D-R.I.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe new Washington elite schmoozes over lunch Hillary gives Bernie cool reception at Trump inaugural lunch The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (I-Vt.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Al FrankenAl FrankenJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Overnight Energy: Perry makes his case to lead Energy Dept. | Dems alarmed by spending cut plans Dems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts MORE (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenTrump poised to reinstate 'global gag rule' on Roe v. Wade anniversary: report Trump country Dem takes risk by skipping swearing-in 5 billion reasons Rex Tillerson is wrong MORE (D-N.H.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Senate Dems want Trump to withdraw from Pacific trade deal MORE (D-Ore.) and Patty MurrayPatty MurrayWarren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Warren: GOP ‘ignored’ ethical requirements for Cabinet picks Overnight Healthcare: Takeaways from Price's hearing | Trump scrambles GOP health plans MORE (D-Wash.) all signed the letter, adding that DOMA is a form of discrimination that creates a “tier of second-class families.”
“The Supreme Court will soon have its voice heard on this discriminatory policy that has already been deemed unconstitutional by two federal courts,” Gillibrand said in a statement Thursday. “In light of those earlier decisions, we must lift the hardship for LGBT families who live in fear of separation based on this antiquated law until the Supreme Court rules. Regardless of the court’s ultimate decision, it is well past time for Congress to recognize the marriages of all loving and committed couples and finally put the discriminatory DOMA policy into the dustbin of history.”
President Obama's administration has come out against DOMA, but many Republicans still support the law, which says marriage is between a man and a woman.