Thursday, December 30, 2010

We Will Not Be Dismissed!

I had a conversation with a gentleman on Twitter the other day and asked him what was his group's stand on the Uniting American Families Act.  First of all, he said that it was not on his agenda.  A dear friend of mine chimed in that he should indeed support it.  So he asked, "What is it again?"  I told him the Uniting American Families Act.  I gave him this blog address.  He came back quite quickly with the reply, "Don't support it".  I wanted to know why...what is it about the bill that they don't support.  Perhaps if I could understand their issues, they could be addressed and fears relieved.  This is his answer, and I quote, "does it matter - keep fighting for things you believe in. I have no problem with your beliefs."  If he has no problem with my beliefs, why does he not support the Uniting American Families Act?  Try as I might, I got no more answers from him.

It is like they have no clue that they are dealing with actual people and their lives.  Homosexuality is an issue and easily pushed away with an "I don't support it".  Bi-National Same Sex Couples are people...real people with hearts that are breaking because they cannot be with the love of their life.

Findhorn Press Torn Apart - 256 pages paperbackWith a Foreword by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed) 36,000+ same-sex binational couples (half of them raising children) face separation, exile, deportation or breakup because of U.S. immigration law.

I was actually told to me by a Congressman to go ahead and leave my country and live in my sweethearts country and when the time was right, we could move back here.  And I quote,

"Serious about this person? Unite in his country don't try to change our laws. Later he can immigrate as everybody else." 

 Really???  I have the right to live in my country.  I should have the right to live in my country with the spouse of my choosing.  This is such a basic thing.  I don't understand how people can brush us aside and say that they are against homosexuality.  Are you against the Mom who lives in England who wants nothing better than to be here in the United States with her wife and their daughter?
This couple struggles to keep together when the longest time that they have ever had together (allowed by USA Immigration Law) is 89 days.  To quote Inger Knudson,
"In the mean time, we waffle between celebrating and forgetting that we are missing birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, milestones and every precious minute we are apart. Vowing never to waste a moment when we can finally stop the clock that is slicing our days together into moments left. To silence that ticking that underscores everything. Just to be. Together. Whole. Always." 

There are thousands of these stories at the very least, 36,000 stories of couples.  Couples who have been exiled from the United States of America.  Couples who have left their country to live in a more accepting country.  Couples who live illegally because the choices that are given them are slim and unacceptable.  Couples who live apart because it is the only thing they can do.

My own story is one I have shared.  I am in love with a woman who is from the Netherlands.  Life is difficult as our life together is one of coming and going.  One of looking over our shoulder.  One of crossing at different borders so we could be together.  Finding the busiest crossing site so they will not ask too many questions.  Our future is unsure.  Where will we be able to live in safety?  Where will we be able to live without time running out on a visa waiver?  Should I pick her up in Canada.... or can she fly into Chicago?   I remember being in the Netherlands, having just been told that they would not approve her visa and she could not return to the USA with me.  My entire being ached with the pain of the separation.  I wept. 

We are currently at the mercy of people who would rather dismiss us with the wave of a hand as if brushing away a small gnat.  Please be put on notice:  The real person that you think you are dismissing with the wave of your hand is holding on for the lives of their family; the right to have a life with the one we love.   We will never give up on equal rights for all Americans!

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