I have always loved Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. For one thing, she was a pretty awesome Governor of Arizona. For a second thing, I am pretty sure she is a lesbian, and thirdly, she just made an interesting and respectable change in who they will deport, and why.
As I stated in an old post of mine, titled “DOMA Is Tearing Couples Apart” — the defense of marriage act has, and will continue to cause havoc on gay and lesbian people’s life. It’s likely heading for repeal, either by being struck down in a federal court, or actually being repealed on the congressional level.
President Obama has said he does not support it.
But it’s still in place. And that’s not okay.
As I said in that post, same-sex couples, even married ones in the six states that allow same-sex marriage, receive none of the federal benefits of being married, because of the Defense of Marriage Act. It denies same-sex couples federal tax breaks, power of attorney, military pensions, and until now, it used to forbid immigration from considering the status of same-sex couple’s relationships when questions of deporting one of the two came into play.
But damnit, Janet is working to change it.
According to this article by the New York Times, Janet has ordered that in cases where one of the folks in a committed, established same-sex relationship, one with family ties, should not be deported.
Certainly, DOMA continues to prohibit helping spouses in same-sex partnerships to get green cards, and it continues to restrict what the federal government can do in general.
But Janet is making a smart move here. A real smart move.
And it’s about time too. Because ever since she left Arizona, I was pretty upset with her. The state has been falling apart, and the few decent politicians there are few and far between. Janet was always the voice of reason. Plus, I hadn’t seen anything she has done since leaving Arizona (and letting the bat-shit crazy alcoholic Jan Brewer take office) that I liked. Until now.
Well played, Secretary.