CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A resolution urging national lawmakers to pass LGBT-inclusive immigration reform was approved by the Chapel Hill Town Council Monday night.
Current federal immigration law does not recognize foreign same-sex partners of American citizens. The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would amend the law and allow American citizens to sponsor their foreign-born partners in much the same way heterosexual couples can now.
The resolution states, “This form of discrimination, and limited legal options to keep same sex relationships unified, exacts an enormous emotional, financial, and mental toll, and has devastating and life-altering consequences for same-sex partners.”
UAFA aims to amend current law to add the term “permanent partner” where “spouse” appears. Same-sex partners would be subject to the same burden of proof as opposite-sex couples are. The legislation was originally introduced in 2000 in the House by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) with 59 co-sponsors. Since then, the number of co-sponsors has increased to 122 in the House and 23 in the Senate.
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, who is gay, told qnotes the resolution was passed unanimously and there were no comments on the resolution from either council members or the public.
Tom Tierney, of Out4Immigration, an all-volunteer grassroots group that pushed for the passage of this resolution, said that he plans to focus on lobbying Raleigh and Durham to pass similar resolutions next. Eighteen other cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have already passed supportive resolutions.
Chapel Hill’s resolution will be sent to Rep. David Price, who represents the town, as well as Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan and leaders of the House and Senate.