“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 GillibrandDefense bill renews fight over military sexual assault Overnight Defense: VA chief under fire for Disneyland comparison Dem senator: Sexual assault case show 'troubling command culture' MORE (D-N.Y.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators take aim at 'armies of zombie computers' Report: Sexual assault victims wrongfully discharged from military TSA uproar spills into Congress MORE (D-Conn.), Ron WydenRon WydenHouse to offer bill blocking government hacking powers Week ahead: Cyber Command in the spotlight Overnight Cybersecurity: House defense bill would elevate Cyber Command MORE (D-Ore.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerHow Congress got to yes on toxic chemical reform Sanders: Democratic convention could be 'messy' California Gov. endorses Kamala Harris's Senate run MORE (D-Calif.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsDems: Warren ready to get off sidelines Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Wildlife crime bill deserves unanimous consent in Congress MORE (D-Del.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThe Trail 2016: Sanders who? Dem senator to Sanders: 'When it's over, it's over' Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees MORE (D-Md.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenators take aim at 'armies of zombie computers' Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Dem blocks GOP senator from moving district judges MORE (D-R.I.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders requests recanvass of Kentucky primary Sanders fundraising for state-level candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (I-Vt.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Al FrankenAl FrankenSenators unveil bill to overhaul apprenticeship programs Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenSenate panel backs spending bill with boost for TSA Dems: Warren ready to get off sidelines Dems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees MORE (D-N.H.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySanders pans chemical safety reform deal The Trail 2016: Sanders who? Senator tells Sanders: Don't focus on superdelegates MORE (D-Ore.) and Patty MurrayPatty MurraySenate passes broad spending bill with .1B in Zika funds The Hill's 12:30 Report Senate approves Zika funds 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.