Consuming marijuana—even if it’s obtained through a legal
cannabis dispensary—could now potentially block immigrants from securing US
According to a US Citizenship and Immigration Services policy
change passed in April, consuming or selling weed may show a lack of moral
Citizens hoping to obtain US citizenship oftentimes must
display to USCIS officers that they have “good moral character”.
The policy doesn’t only target those who have been convicted
in a court of law of buying, using, or selling marijuana either.
Those who openly admit during their citizenship process of
using weed in the past also face the potential outcome of having their petition
for citizenship denied on grounds of displaying poor moral character, even if
they haven’t used the drug in years.
Although the definition of “good moral character” may seem vague and ambiguous on its face, US immigration law does not necessarily provide for the same constitutional protections that other types of US law provide.
Furthermore, immigration and citizenship cases are wholly
contingent on federal laws rather than state laws.
Federal law still prohibits the consumption of marijuana
under any circumstances.
Since drug laws codified at the federal level preempt state
laws that permit marijuana use both recreationally or medicinally, even the use
of legal weed could potentially be viewed as a criminal activity—i.e. poor
moral character–in the eyes of USCIS officers.
On Sunday 3 November 2013, people gathered in Hanoi to rally in support of equal rights for gay couples ahead of the news that gay and lesbian couples in Vietnam may soon be allowed to hold relationship ceremonies reports The Wall Street Journal.
While the amendment of the Law of Marriage and the Family currently being debated is a long way from hopes that gay marriage would officially be recognized, or would lead to equal rights for gay couples, activists say is a step in the right direction.
The issue of legalization of same sex marriage in Thailand has been widely debated in recent months withmany welcoming it as a positive step in the right direction
Vietnam’s National Assembly is scheduled to begin debating on Tuesday 5 November.
The possible legalization of same-sex marriages in neighboring Thailand is worrying Malaysia Department of Islamic Development who feel it will indirectly impact Malaysia reports the Star Online.
Jakim director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha has urged the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to take action and share their views on preventing the issue arising by “creating a specific civil law” on the matter. Although he recognizes that Malaysia cannot get involved with the laws of foreign countries, Othman controversially believes that what the LGBT community champions as basic human rights will act as a “cancer” to society.
Thailand is one of the most tolerant countries in Asia in regards to homosexuality, however Thailand attorneys confirm that same sex marriages are still not legal in Thailand. It is thought though the first first draft of a bill legalizing it is in place and that Thailand might become the first country in South East Asia to recognize same sex marriage.