Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who has bucked the GOP before on gay rights, cosponsored legislation Wednesday that "she says would give same-sex couples immigration rights equal to those of heterosexual couples," U.S. News reports.
The bill, to which she is the first Senate Republican to lend her support, would give members of same-sex couples the chance to sponsor their partners for citizenship.
"This legislation would simply update our nation's immigration laws to treat bi-national couples equally," Collins said in a release, according to U.S. News. "This important civil rights legislation would help prevent committed, loving families from being forced to choose between leaving their family or leaving their country."
The legislation could affect about 36,000 couples, according to U.S. News, citing Census data.