Senator John Kerry (MA) has stepped out in support of a same-sex married couple, writing a letter to the Department of Homeland Security to prevent the deportation of a married, Pakistani lesbian whose immigration status is not protected based on the Defense of Marriage Act.
More after the jump.
In the letter, dated March 27, Kerry explains that the woman, known only as “Gloria” in order to protect her safety in the event that she has to return to Pakistan, “is certain that if she is forced to return to Pakistan, her life will be in danger, not only because of her sexual orientation and her marriage to a United States citizen, but for religious reasons as well.”
According to Kerry, Gloria’s spouse, Jacquelyn Moulton, filed a petition to sponsor her for a marriage-based green card, but the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services cannot approve the petition based on the DOMA’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
A Boston federal appeals court is currently considering a challenge to the constitutionality of DOMA.
In his letter, Kerry asked that the couple's petition be put on hold until DOMA is repealed or the litigation challenging the law is settled. By putting the petition on hold, it can’t be denied; as such, Gloria would be able to stay in the United States until the legal battle is resolved.
Kerry calls Jacquelyn and Gloria, both 24, "a remarkable young married couple."
The two met in college, where they were roommates. Both acknowledge that Pakistan is “not safe for lesbian women or for Christians. They are also concerned for the safety of relatives of Gloria who live in Pakistan.”
Speaking directly to Janet Napolitano, the head of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, he says, "I know that you and I both believe that every family is worthy of recognition and respect, and that no family should be torn apart based on a discriminatory law."