The U.S. government is once again prohibiting foreign spouses of gay and lesbian Americans from applying for green cards, federal authorities announced Wednesday.
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services resumed its practice Wednesday of automatically rejecting applications from same-sex couples, after the agency had been putting such applications on hold for more than a week.
Gay rights groups have long demanded that same-sex couples be given the same rights as heterosexuals to sponsor their foreign national spouses for green cards and obtain other immigration benefits. They are barred, however, under the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage for the purposes of federal benefits as exclusively between a man and a woman.
Gay rights advocates were hoping for a change in the policy in light of the Obama administration’s recent announcement that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman