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Letter to the community: Supreme Court's DOMA decision means hope for same-gender binational couples

(Editor's note: This statement was made by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, United We Dream and Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, GetEQUAL, National Center for Transgender Equality, Equality Federation, Lambda Legal and National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.)

Today marks a great victory for the most basic principles of fairness. Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), legally married same-sex couples have been denied recognition, benefits and protections provided to every other married couple. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a long overdue recognition that same-sex couples and their families deserve equality under the law and we celebrate with all of those who have fought to see this day come.

As a coalition committed to compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform, we are thrilled for same-sex families in states that allow marriage equality that no longer need to fear being torn apart by our nation’s broken immigration system. Like straight couples, U.S. citizens who are lawfully married will now be able to sponsor their foreign partners’ roadmap to citizenship and keep their families together.

But our work is far from over. The end of DOMA is historic and will provide an estimated 28,500 same-sex binational couples with an easier roadmap to citizenship, but we are still fighting for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, including at least 267,000 LGBT immigrants. We will continue to fight to keep all families together and strengthen our immigration system’s sensitivity to family needs.

As Congress debates critical immigration reform issues, our LGBT coalition will continue to advocate for the most accessible roadmap to citizenship possible, and we will continue to ardently oppose draconian amendments that would make all immigrants, including those who are LGBT, permanent second-class citizens and create undue hardships.

So much remains to be done in order for all of America’s immigrant families to be able to live with dignity, pursue their dreams and work for a better future and quality of life. As we celebrate the end of DOMA, we also recognize that our fight for equality for all and family unity for all continues.