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Around the world, people are fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Resettlement to the United States is a lifeline for many LGBTQIA+ refugees, allowing them the opportunity to live in greater safety. We know that being reunited with family and community is so important for refugee wellbeing. However, the US refugee program relies on a heteronormative definition of a family that tears queer families apart and makes the possibility of being resettled or reunited with their families
On February 4, US President Joseph Biden issued an executive order calling for a report on options for resettling non-married life partners together through USRAP:
The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consider taking actions, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to recognize as “spouses” for purposes of derivative status through USRAP individuals who are in committed life partnerships but who are unable to marry or to register their marriage due to restrictions in the law or practices of their country of origin, including for individuals in same-sex, interfaith, or camp-based marriages. The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide the President a report, through the APNSA, describing any action taken pursuant to this subsection within 180 days of the date such action is taken.
A report is due to the president on August 3, 2021. RCUSA and partners are aiming to mobilize a week of action to pressure the administration to make this a reality.
Refugees International is a nonprofit advocating for the lifesaving assistance, human rights, and protection for forcibly displaced people around the world, while promoting solutions to the crises causing displacement.
Immigration Equality is LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrant rights organization, providing direct legal services, and engaging in policy advocacy and impact litigation. They strive to end discriminatory policies and work to protect immigrants and families facing discrimination because of their gender or sexual preferences or their HIV status.