Federal law, as currently codified, does not recognize same-sex marriages. However, several states now recognize such marriages, and even more recognize civil unions which may, in certain cases, be indistinguishable from marriages under common law, except for the fact that the parties are of the same sex. The question therefore naturally arises within the immigration context as to the status of a same sex marriage for immigration purposes. In a recent case (Matter of Paul Wilson Dorman) Attorney General Holder ordered the BIA to issue an opinion on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in a cancellation of removal case. See the PDf of the case.

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