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 We believe the political will of our elected leaders must be directed at this issue so that DOMA is repealed quickly.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!