Society has always privileged married couples in various ways in order to assist with the bringing up of children. Many homosexuals try to claim the same privileges even though they do not usually contribute to the upbringing of children

More than 100 lawmakers in the House and about 20 in the Senate have signed on to bills that would add the United States to the 19 countries that recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes. Gay rights groups are encouraged that President Obama has signaled he would like to include such couples as Rickard and Bogliolo in the bills.

“In many ways, the stars are aligning to move this forward as part of a comprehensive bill,’’ said Steve Ralls, communications director for the advocacy group Immigration Equality. “That’s an opportunity we didn’t have years ago.’’

The provisions concerning same-sex couples are part of legislation that would increase the number of visas provided to family members of people already in the United States legally.

The longstanding fight over the country’s estimated 36,000 same-sex couples of two nationalities is a small part of the debate over changing immigration laws. But including same-sex couples could make it harder to pass legislation on immigration. A key ally in past immigration fights, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said it would not support a measure that has a same-sex provision.

Other groups say that it is often difficult to verify the validity of same-sex relationships if one of the partners comes from a country that does not recognize or document same-sex unions