For many years, my legal practice has strangely benefited from a huge injustice for same sex couples in the United States. The Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the recognition of same sex relationships at the federal level, meant that Americans in a same sex relationship with non-Americans did not have the right to sponsor their partners or spouses. As a result of this injustice, many couples decided to move to Canada, which fully recognized their relationship.
At a professional level, it was rewarding to assist these couples to preserve their relationships in the face of such blatant discrimination. At a personal level, it was inspiring to witness first hand that love could triumph over national borders, and unfair laws.
It is with some mixed feelings that I learned today about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that DOMA is unconstitutional. I will definitely miss being able to assist same sex couples maintain their relationship, and to provide them safe haven in Canada. On the other hand, I share the relief and sense of gratification of everyone who worked so hard to defeat this law, including my friend and colleague U.S. immigration lawyer Lavi Soloway, and advocacy groups like Immigration Equality and Out4Immigration. Their determination and hard work in fighting for justice has paid off. It is an encouraging reminder to all of us to continue to fight for our rights to equality.