Greenwald meditates on the all-too-common occurrence:
Leaving aside the debate over whether the Obama DOJ should be defending DOMA in court, the human costs from this conduct are severe, though often overlooked. One of the most destructive aspects of DOMA is that it bars gay Americans who are married to a foreign national -- an increasingly common situation for Americans generally in a globalized world -- from obtaining a marriage-based visa for their same-sex foreign spouse. By contrast, Americans who are married to a foreign national of the opposite sex receive more or less automatic visas and then Green Cards for their spouse, entitling them to live together in the U.S.
Just please watch this two-minute news report, describing the gut-wrenching (though not uncommon) plight of Josh Vandiver, an American citizen, and Henry Velandia, his Venezuelan spouse. Despite their being legally married in Connecticut after four years of living together, Velandia, because of DOMA, is about to be deported to Venezuela, where Vandiver is unable to live and work. In other words, the U.S. Government is about to separate this couple, who want to spend the rest of their lives together, and force them to live on separate continents thousands of miles apart.
Another case of this kind of ghastly trade-off is detailed here. Glenn lives in Brazil because this country will not treat his relationship with his partner as legal. He's lucky to be able to work from anywhere, and lucky that his spouse's country lets him live with his partner. Aaron would be in the same position if my green card application - made solely on my own merits - doesn't come through. But this is rare:
For the thousands of same-sex couples in that situation, the choices are grim indeed: they can choose (1) to live illegally in one country or the other, or (2) separate and live thousands of miles away -- for the indefinite future -- from the person with whom they want to share their lives. As the HRW Report put it: "thousands of U.S. citizens and their foreign same-sex partners face enormous hardships, separation and even exile because discriminatory U.S. immigration policies deprive these couples of the basic right to be together."
With anti-gay and anti-immigrant forces about to take back the Congress, it seems as if this will not change for a long, long time. And so America increasingly becomes the one place in the Western world where gay relationships and marriages do not, as far as the federal government is concerned, exist.
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