An immigration judge postponed a deportation hearing for Alex Benshimol and Doug Gentry for two years, allowing the legally married gay couple to stay together in the United States.
Benshimol and Gentry were legally married in California, yet they were scheduled to face an immigration hearing on July 13, 2011 because gay and lesbian married couples can not sponsor their foreign born spouses for citizenship like married heterosexual couples can.
Out4Immigration's Change.org petition calling upon elected officials to prevent the forced separation of Doug and Alex, received more than 12,000 signatures.
"We are pleased with the progress that this case demonstrates." said Mickey Lim, Vice President of Out4Immigration. "However there are thousands of same-sex binational couples who are still living with uncertainty because of the Defense of Marriage Act and many more that have already been exiled or separated by this unfair discriminatory law. We applaud Doug and Alex's courage to put a face on the issue and will continue to work towards securing equal immigration rights for same sex couples! We look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our friends and families back home!"
Read more here http://news.change.org/stories/immigration-judge-postpones-deportation-proceedings-for-two-years-allowing-doug-and-alex-to-remain-in-us
On July 13th 2011 in San Francisco, Alex Benshimol and Doug Gentry, a married California couple, will face every same-sex binational couple’s worst nightmare: a deportation hearing. As anyone following this issue knows, for years there has been little hope for same-sex binational couples seeking to reside together in the US. Many are legally married like Alex and Doug, but are still treated as legal strangers in the eyes of our own government.
For many years, and certainly since DOMA became law, our families have been discriminated against. At best, our foreign partners and spouses have managed to stay in the US with temporary visas related to work or study, but are deprived of access to a “green card” on the basis of their relationship. These couples cannot build a future together and live with tremendous insecurity. Far more often we are forced to live apart in different countries; exiled to one of the more than 20 countries in the world that respect our families; or forced to live in the United States in the shadows with constant uncertainty; fear of deportation and ruin hanging over our heads. This destroys marriages, and tears apart our families. It is a humanitarian crisis that must come to an end.
Alex came into the U.S. 12 years ago from Venezuela and overstayed a tourist visa, an immigration violation that straight binational couples can easily remedy once married; as a gay married couple, Alex and Doug do not have that option. We believe the political will of our elected leaders must be directed at this issue so that DOMA is repealed quickly. All American citizens deserve the right to pursue life and happiness with the liberty and equality guaranteed us all by our Constitution. We need our elected officials to show leadership and resolve on this issue. The Obama administration has the power to protect couples like Alex and Doug so they are not torn apart by deportation. Join us in declaring that the cruel discrimination that has been inflicted on us by unjust laws MUST finally come to an end.
Please join Out4Immigration, Stop the Deportations, GetEQUAL, Marriage Equality USA, and your fellow citizens in urging President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to take action to recognize Doug and Alex’s marriage and prevent another family from being torn apart!