National DREAM Graduation, Prerna Lal to marry partner
It was a match made in political heaven - a union bringing together two women and two controversial issues: gay marriage and immigration.
Prerna Lal was brought here to the States from Fiji at age 14. She was placed under deportation proceedings three years ago, but because of the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, she has decided to marry her girlfriend so she can start her legalization process.
"She sat through removal proceedings. She stayed up nights crying about the fact that I might get deported from the country and she wants to keep our family together," says Lal of her bride-to-be Lindsay Schubiner.
But now, those worries have diminished.
At her next immigration hearing, recent law school graduate Prerna Lal hopes that her D.C.-validated marriage will help her gain legal status.
"It’s about equal protection under the law and the right to due process; the fundamental right to marry is part of the due process,” says Lal. “It feels wonderful to finally have the opportunity to marry the person I love and have all the rights that we deserve."
Other bride Schubiner says she doesn’t think that this is the end for either gay marriage or immigration.
"If you're saying that the bill is comprehensive, if you're saying that the bill helps families, it has to help everybody's families, gay and straight,” she says.
Following a Dreamers’ Rally, the wedding took place at a church just a couple of blocks down from Capitol Hill, where the debate on immigration reform continues. Republicans, who have the majority in the House, are expected to take on the issue in the coming days.