Maggio + Kattar has a long-standing commitment to representing LGBT immigrants and advocating for their rights before administrative agencies, the courts and U.S. Consulates worldwide. Our firm was delighted when, exactly two years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act in Windsor v. U.S. on June 26, 2013, paving the way for marriage-based immigration benefits for same-sex couples. Shareholder Anna Gallagher proudly represented the very first same-sex couple scheduled for a marriage-based green card interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Washington District Office later that summer. The firm has also assisted many LGBT immigrants who have suffered horrific mistreatment and persecution in their home countries in obtaining asylum protection in United States.
Given our long-standing commitment and close relationship with the LGBT community, we are delighted by today’s decision by the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision recognizes that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right that cannot be denied by the states. The effect of the decision is to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the entire country and to ensure that states recognize each other's licenses as valid. Justice Kennedy, in his majority decision, movingly wrote:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
We at Maggio + Kattar celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision and will continue to zealously advocate for the rights of our clients from all over the world to receive equal respect for their dignity under the law.