Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Binational Same Sex Couples: The Minority of a Minority

Why Passing the Uniting American Families Act

and Repealing DOMA is Urgent


The Census in the year 2000 said that binational same sex couples numbered approximately 36,000.  In the 2010 Census, we have yet to receive a number, however rumor has it that it was not counted or divided to give an accurate number.  With the onset of online dating, Skype, chat rooms, and other various ways our lives our touched by technology, I believe that number to be at least tripled.  However, all in all, we are a small group of gays and lesbians who have fallen in love with someone who is not an American Citizen.  If we were heterosexual, we could apply for a green card for our spouses and it would be immediately granted with little fanfare.  Because the people with whom we have fallen in love are of the same sex, there is little to no options for our spouses to immigrate.  Our options include the following:

1.  Our foreign born spouse can get a job here in the United States.  Unfortunately, it has to be a specialized job that no American citizen is able to do or wants to do.

2.  College.  Paying out of state fees.  However, one can only afford that for so long and there are only so many degrees that a person can earn.

3.  Be unusually talented.  By that I mean a Celine Dion or a Sammy Sosa type talent. 

Those are the legal options we have for immigration.  If our spouses do not or cannot fall into any of these categories, our options are really limited:

1.  Move to the spouses country if they are gay friendly.

2.  Move to a third country if able

3.  Live apart and on visits from time to time

4.  Live in the United States as a non-person "under the wire"

While Marriage Equality is so very important and absolutely needs to get done, those who live with their partners can go home at night and be held by their spouse/partner.  Bi-national same sex couples live visit to visit...often going a year or so before being able to hold their loved one.  I am asking everyone to please take action to get the Uniting American Families Act brought up for some sort of vote.  Right now, Lamar Smith, chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the House, has no intentions of bringing anything like it up for a vote.  He needs to be contacted daily.  We need to make the Uniting American Families Act something that Congress hears each and every day.

Tonight when you go to bed and you reach out and touch your loved one, know that thousands of bi-national gay and lesbian people are alone and not able to hold their loved one.  We just want a chance to live our lives with the person with whom we love, to live and love and just be and be legal.   Know that we are a small group, but we are part of a larger group and we are Americans asking for our right to live with our love. We ask for your help in getting the necessary legislation brought forward. 















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