A President for All Americans: Obama Administration Releases Written Deportation Guidelines Acknowledging LGBT Families

The Washington Blade is now reporting that the Department of Homeland Security, for the first time in history, has issued written guidelines for prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases to take families into account - LGBT families. Immigration cases have had a long-standing tradition to take family situations into account while pursuing deportation of an individual, but given that state and federal laws have kept same-sex families from being legally recognized as families, never before have our families enjoyed the same considerations. Now, they will.

Here's the relevant part of the newly issued guidelines.
The guidance offers three criteria for immigration personnel as they determine whether a same-sex relationship would “rise to the level of a ‘family relationship’”:
Same-sex relationships that rise to the level of “family relationships” are long-term, same-sex relationships in which the individuals
  • are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
  • are not in a marital or other domestic relationship with anyone else; and typically maintain a common residence
  • and share financial obligations and assets.
You know, in other words, a family.

This is why Barack Obama is president. He is the president of all the people - gay, straight, black, white, men, women, old, young, rich, poor, conservative, liberal. This is a president who does not merely pay lip service to get votes, but someone for whom equality is personal. This is a president who believes deeply in all individuals and all families. This is a president all Americans can be proud of.

I don't say this just because I'm gay. I don't say it because I'm a liberal, either. I say this because it is true. He believes in the basic humanity and equality of every person, and that is how he has run his administration. For once, there will be a thought given before same-sex families are broken apart by the force of immigration law. For once, the children of those families will have a little more security that both their parents will be there for their dance recital, their little league game, or to help them with homework. Do you know why? Because this president realized that children same-sex couples miss their mommies and daddies too, and same-sex couples love their families as much as anyone else.

I don't want to rant too much; I'm getting emotional. I will just end this with what I'm sure is the most insignificant of ways to express my feelings: Thank you, Mr. President.


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