Don't Deport Henry: Repeal DOMA Now
  • Petitioned President of the United States

This petition was delivered to:

President of the United States

Don't Deport Henry: Repeal DOMA Now

    1. Petition by

      Freedom to Marry

June 2011


In a decision that could have far reaching effects, federal officials spared Henry from deportation back to Venezuela. 

Henry Velandia and Josh Vandiver married in August, 2010. Ever since, the two men have been fighting for their right to stay together.

This decision is a signal to other couples about how the Justice Department's memo claiming they would no longer defend DOMA may influence other federal decisions that relate to DOMA, such as immigration.

Learn more at here


On August 29, Henry Velandia and Josh Vandiver were married in Montville, Connecticut. But unlike most newlyweds, Henry & Josh aren't spending the fall sending out thank you cards or taking the honeymoon of their dreams.

Instead, Henry and Josh are fighting to save their marriage. Because of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996, the federal government does not honor same-sex couple’s marriages, which means that Henry – who was born in Venezuela and moved to the U.S. in 2002 – may soon face deportation. If Henry and Josh were not a same-sex couple, Josh would easily be able to sponsor Henry for a visa or citizenship.

Henry and Josh are now considering leaving the U.S. to keep their family together, and they’re not alone.  Each day, DOMA tears apart thousands of bi-national families who have been separated or are facing deportation. DOMA excludes legally married same-sex couples from the more than a thousand federal responsibilities and protections of marriage, including Social Security survivor benefits, fair treatment by the IRS, and the ability to sponsor a spouse for a visa or citizenship.

Loving, committed, and legally married couples like Henry and Josh shouldn't have to fight against government-sanctioned discrimination to be together.

Tell President Obama to end the deportations and protect married couples like Henry and Josh by fulfilling his pledge to repeal DOMA.

Recent signatures


    1. Gay Man Faces Deportation Despite Legal Marriage

      If ever there was a perfect example of how the Defense of Marriage Act harms LGBT Americans, the story of Henry Velandia and John Vandiver provides it. Henry and Josh are a gay couple in New Jersey, and in August 2010, they traveled up to Connecticut...


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