I am writing to ask you to support the immigration of B.E.V. (withheld for safety) to the United States. He will find safety, support, and most importantly, family here in the great state of Utah.
Ben Visser is a member of our community here in Utah. He has worked tirelessly over the last several years to provide a safe place for many gay men to find social support and acceptance. He currently serves as the Director of the Utah Gay Fathers Association. This organization has brought peace and safety for many men facing the challenges of being gay and a father in our culture. He has bridged gaps with wives and ex-wives and aided in the creation of the Supportive Straight Spouses organization. These two organizations have strived to build a family centered approach to the issue of mixed orientation marriages. The GLBTQ community is a better, strong community through efforts of many like Ben.
Ben is now asking his community to support him in his time of need. With the amazing benefits of technology Ben was able to meet B.E.V. (withheld for safety)a year ago. Through daily discussion, as well as meeting in person last May, their relationship has solidified. What once seemed like good conversation and impossible odds has now become real and tangible. They are committed to each other and would hope to be married wherever legally possible. Ben has now asked that his community step forward to voice support for their relationship to be recognized and B.E.V.(withheld for safety) ensured through immigration.
You are becoming aware, B.E.V. (withheld for safety) is a gay man. That alone is dangerous for his health and safety in Indonesia. I’m sure you are well aware of the rule of law and culture in Indonesia does not offer protections to gay men and, in far too many cases, leads to physical and emotional harm and even death. Indonesia is simply not a safe place for him to live. Ben has opened his heart, home, and community to B.E.V. (withheld for safety). I urge you to consider seriously the need to act quickly and prevent any harm to this couple.
Utah, however, has a vibrant and supportive gay community. Both B.E.V. (withheld for safety) and Ben will find acceptance and basic protections to their health and safety here. Utah is a great place to raise a family. I am proud to call it my home. Ben and B.E.V. (withheld for safety) look forward to raising Ben’s sons, as well as adding to that family.
Ben is determined to find a healthy, supportive, and safe place for he and Endhi to live their lives together. As Ben has two sons and a supportive family, it simply makes sense to support this family by allowing them to live where they are established in Utah. It makes no sense to disadvantage this family by forcing distance between them.
While it is unfortunate that marriage equality doesn’t exist federally, there have been many strides made in finding equal footing. I am sure you are aware of the State department’s recent announcement to treat same-sex couples equal to marriages in cases if deportation. I’m sure you are also well aware of the Defense of Marriage Act’s recent ruling as unconstitutional. We are moving forward towards equality.
I add my voice of support to Ben and B.E.V. (withheld for safety). I ask you to carefully consider the request of our fellow American to protect his family and get him to a safer place here in Utah.
We were founded on the principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I ask you to allow our fellow citizen, Ben, those rights. B.E.V.'s (withheld for safety) life depends on it. This is Ben’s pursuit of happiness.
Thank you for your time. Please feel free to contact me directly. I look forward to seeing Ben and B.E.V. (withheld for safety) bridge the gap of distance and build a loving home here in Utah.
Our friends, family and community thank you for your support.