WHA 2014

H. Micheal Tarver's picture

"I Was a Male War Bride: The Future of Foreign Military Service, Gay Marriage, and the End of DOMA" by Joel Virgen, California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA, USA. July 18, 2014.

With the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and subsequently the Defense of Marriage Act, gay military personnel have been able to enter into marriages in the U.S. in states that recognize gay marriage. However, one issue that has not been addressed is how gay service members in Foreign Service who marry foreigners will be affected in countries that do not recognize gay marriage or perform them. Through analyzing the role that foreign wars had on the United States immigration policy in the mid-twentieth century, this study aims to show how the current policy creates a legal quandary for gay men and women who may find partners in countries where the U.S. is currently engaged in war. After World War II there emerged a need to make the transition into civilian life easier for enlisted men, and this affected immigration policy, ending the quota system that was created by the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 with the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965 that based immigration policy on familial relations. This paper examines the role of mid-century war brides and their interactions with soldiers on foreign soil to compare them with current experiences. With service members in over 150 countries and the slow growth of gay rights around the world, how the U.S. will deal with extending equal rights to gay service members equal to those of heterosexual service members will be an issue that may force an exception in international marriage law as it pertains to immigration admissions for spouses.

Categories: Announcement
Keywords: WHA 2014, Virgen