Q: My boyfriend is undocumented. His sister married a US citizen and may receive a green card. We had hoped to someday do the same. But next year, the extreme right will control all three branches of the federal government. Deportation will surely come for my boyfriend. Additionally, we’re a gay couple, and Donald Trump has pledged to repeal marriage equality, if not ban it outright. So if we were to marry now, the timing would look suspicious. And even if we did marry, that marriage is likely to be invalidated in the coming years. Is it still worth it to try? What do I do if the government takes away the love of my life? — Keep Him Home
You should marry your boyfriend immediately, KHH, and do so with confidence.
“There is no realistic possibility that anyone’s marriage will be invalidated,” said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which has taken marriage-rights cases to the US Supreme Court (and won). “The law is very strong that if a marriage is valid when entered, it cannot be invalidated by any subsequent change in the law. So people who are already married should not be concerned that their marriage can be taken away.”
And Minter says the court is unlikely to overturn Obergefell, the decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country.
“The doctrine of stare decisis — which means that courts generally will respect and follow their own prior rulings — is also very strong, and the Supreme Court very rarely overturns an important constitutional ruling so soon after issuing it,” said Minter. “Even the appointment of an anti-marriage-equality justice to replace Justice Scalia would not jeopardize the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on marriage equality, and the great majority of Americans still strongly support the freedom of same-sex couples to marry.”
Q: I’m heartsick about the election. Today I made a donation to Planned Parenthood. PP asked me if I wanted my donation to be in honor of anyone and noted they’ll send a card to that person to let them know I’ve donated in their name. Why yes, I thought, I’d like to make my donation in honor of Mike Pence, vice president-elect. Until January 20, his address is 4600 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208. After January 20, his address will sadly be 1 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008. If any of your readers are inclined to join me in honoring our VP-elect, they can donate at plannedparenthood.org. — Generous Investment Verifying Equality
In addition to donating to Planned Parenthood — which everyone should do — please donate to the American Civil Liberties Union (aclu.org). Better yet, become a card-carrying member of the ACLU today. With Trump in the White House, and Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, freedom and decency need to lawyer the fuck up.