This is a decent analysis by Chris Geidner on BuzzFeed. It takes a very complex legal issue (made overly complex by the masters of over-complexity, the U.S. Congress) and makes it easy to digest.
Truth be told, this just infuriates me. I simply do not understand what the Republicans think they have to gain by ruining these peoples families.
Because the Defense of Marriage Act bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages, binational gay and lesbian couples — those where one partner is not a U.S. citizen — have been denied the ability to seek a green card that straight couples have been eligible to obtain for their spouse in a similar situation.
The legislation aimed at addressing this issue is the Uniting American Families Act, and it would create a new category, called “permanent partners,” that would make same-sex couples eligible for green cards. The “Gang of Eight” senators did not include the measure in their immigration reform bill, but LGBT advocates have been pressing for Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy to add the provision into the bill during the committee markup, which is slated to begin May 9.