- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Senate committee’s failure to tack on an amendment to an immigration bill that grants sponsorship benefits to same-sex couples has left some in the gay community despondent, decrying a nation they feel has abandoned them.

“As a U.S. citizen myself, I feel as though my country is abandoning me and my rights, that I can’t even protect my own spouse,” said Jason Kirchick in a USA Today report. “The only reason I can’t get my partner his spousal green-card petition is because we’re from the same sex.”

Mr. Kirchick married his male partner, Christian Pinillos, in a Vermont ceremony in 2011. They had looked with hope at an amendment from Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, that would have given U.S. citizens the legal right to sponsor their same-sex partners from other nations for green cards. Mr. Leahy, facing much political pressure, withdrew his amendment.

And now Mr. Kirchick’s partner may have to return to his country of origin, Peru, USA Today said. The couple — along with 36,000 other gay couples in the United States facing the same sponsorship issues — is awaiting a deportation decision from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USA Today reported.

“I am an answer away from being taken out of this country, and what’s next? It is very scary,” Mr. Pinillos said in the USA Today report.

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