Alums Fight for Rights of LGBT Bi-National Couples

After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) this past June, alum Amir Rasoulpour (’12) started a small law firm focused in large part on representing gay and lesbian bi-national couples seeking marriage visas.

“This is a class of individuals who have been discriminated against and so I believe that even with this change, it is important for there to be practitioners who focus on same-sex couples,” says Rasoulpour. “The immigration process is pretty invasive. People are on different levels of how out they are, and fears about being outed could stand in the way of applying.”

Alum Victoria Neilson (’94) is the legal director of Immigration Equality, which fights for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Neilson and Immigration Equality are in communication with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. State Department to encourage drafting protections for LGBT bi-national couples seeking marriage visas.

“In some places there are no protections for gays and lesbians in things like housing discrimination,” says Neilson, “so a landlord may not be a good person to verify a marriage.”

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