On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech, advocates for same-sex immigration rights used the celebration in Washington, D.C., as a forum to initiate change. According to The Washington Times, activists will honor the 1963 equal rights movement by placing the spotlight on creating a path to citizenship for immigrants living illegally in the United States and urging equal treatment for same-sex couples seeking immigration rights. After the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional in June 2013, many believe that now is the time for thorough immigration reform.
“Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the United States v. Windsor ruling. “DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.”
Now that the foundation has been set for gay marriage immigration, numerous same-sex couples are receiving good news in the form of green cards. According to CNN, an advocacy group called Immigration Equality estimated that the U.S. is home to about 36,000 binational same-sex couples who can reap positive benefits of the legislation. Many will need to wait up to nine months for their green cards, but advocates believe that the overturning of DOMA was a huge step toward comprehensive immigration reform.
During a week that celebrates the transformation of the civil rights movement, it’s only fitting that the U.S. made more moves toward equality. According to The Washington Times, the festivities of this 50th anniversary will help increase awareness on today’s cultural issues and hopefully lead the way to equal treatments for all minority groups.