Congress Urged to Keep Same-Sex Partners Together

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:04 PM EDT

( - Marriage isn't the only topic on the homosexual activists' agenda.

In California, Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, a Democrat from San Jose, has introduced a resolution urging the U.S. Congress and President Bush to pass a law that would keep same-sex partners from different countries together.

The Permanent Partners Immigration Act, now pending in Congress, would allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration. The bill would add the phrase "or permanent partner" to sections of immigration law giving immigration rights to legally married couples.

The resolution Lieber introduced is sponsored by Equality California, a group that lobbies for "gay civil rights."

'Keep families together'

"To divide families and prevent stable loving relationships from equal treatment under the law that married people take for granted is an insult to same-sex bi-national couples," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California.

"Worse, these couples are forced to choose between love and country," Kors added in a press release released Thursday.

"Assemblymember Lieber's resolution makes a strong statement that California, which prides itself on its diversity, believes in keeping families together and recognizing the relationships of same-sex couples."

According to homosexual activists, thousands of "bi-national" couples are separated or live in fear of deportation because U.S. immigration law doesn't include them in its "established policy designed to keep families together."

"Because of inequalities in our immigration laws, committed and loving relationships are ripped apart for purely discriminatory reasons," said Assemblywoman Lieber. She said the Permanent Partners Immigration Act would establish "fair and humane immigration rights."

As written, the PPIA defines a "permanent partner" as an individual 18 or older who is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 years or older in which both parties intend a lifelong commitment; is financially interdependent with that other person; is not married to or in a permanent partnership with anyone other than that other person; is unable to legally marry that other individual; and is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of that other individual.

Don't worry about fraud, Equity California says.

Under the PPIA, if a person enters into a fraudulent permanent partnership just to get a visa for another person, they will be subject to the same five-year maximum imprisonment and/or $250,000 maximum fine that a person who contracts a fraudulent marriage would face.

The Permanent Partners Immigration Act was first introduced in the 106th Congress, in early 2001 -- before the Sept. 11 terror attacks -- by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).

It was reintroduced in the 107th Congress, and then again in the 108th Congress - and in each case, the bill was introduced in February, around Valentine's Day.

"I think introducing a bill which aims to keep loving and committed relationships together is a perfect way to celebrate Valentines Day," said Rep. Nadler in a press release announcing the initial introduction of the bill.

Conservative groups strongly oppose the legislation, calling it another attempt to erode the definition of traditional marriage.