May 22, 2013
Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced, but ultimately withdrew, an amendment that would have allowed gay and lesbian U.S. citizens to use the nation's immigration system to petition for their partners they married in other countries. Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, introduced the amendment as the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs was debating a sweeping immigration bill that could legalize the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants while increasing border control and revamping the nation's legal immigration system. Leahy wanted to use that bill as a way to change federal law so it recognizes marriages from other countries if the marriage "could have been entered into" in a U.S. state — same-sex marriage is legal in 12 U.S. states, including his own.