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Natalie Nanasi

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An “I Do” I Choose: How The Fight For Marriage Access Supports A Per Se Finding Of Persecution For Asylum Cases Based On Forced Marriage, Natalie Nanasi Feb 2014

An “I Do” I Choose: How The Fight For Marriage Access Supports A Per Se Finding Of Persecution For Asylum Cases Based On Forced Marriage, Natalie Nanasi

Natalie Nanasi

There is something special about marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court, in striking down anti-miscegenation laws, restrictions on the right to marry for disadvantaged groups, and most recently, the Defense of Marriage Act, has long recognized the marital union to be “sacred” and “fundamental to…existence.” Yet this analysis is dramatically different when courts consider asylum law, where a woman who is seeking refuge in the United States to protect her from a forced marriage abroad will likely be denied protection because the harm she fears is not considered to be a “persecutory” act. She may therefore be forced to spend a …