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crossposted at Out4Immigration's Blog

It’s ironic, somewhat. I met my ex-girlfriend in Venezuela studying abroad on a scholarship from the State Department designed to encourage foreign travel. One of my good friends I made on that trip is living now in the U.S. with her Venezuelan husband. I picked the wrong gender I guess. For political and economic reasons, my girlfriend could never get a visa to come visit me in the U.S., so we maintained a long-term relationship for several years. Flights to South America aren’t cheap. Distant love isn’t easy.

Four years ago I was determined not to fall in love with a Chilena when I arrived in Santiago. I was resolute. I didn’t want to consider another binational, same-gender relationship looking at it rationally. It was impossibly difficult the first time, and I didn’t come to Chile to stay. Two years here for grad school, and then I’d come home or go to another country. Nice ‘n easy.

Well I stood no chance. I had never believed in love at first sight until it happened to me. I had to meet this woman! We have recently celebrated our third anniversary, and we have plans to get married in Argentina next year. I have residency in Chile now, which lasts for five years. Fortunately, Marcela was able to get a visa to come to the States, and has met most of my huge family. They love her almost as much as I do.

"Sharlene and Marcela have been together three years and live in Chile. They would like the option of being able to return to live in the United States, but DOMA and the lack of equal immigration rights keep them in exile."

The problem? With DOMA in place, everything is so uncertain and costly. Firstly, her travel visa doesn’t permit employment. Her time with me at home is unpaid, and Chilean chefs aren’t compensated what they’re worth. Flying back and forth to see my friends and family at home, while living and working most of the year far away at the bottom of the world has a price tag that I can pay. But, can we have children? Where will we live? Can I afford to maintain two homes? What about education, insurance, stability? Home-school? Will I find the time? Do I want to have my children live far away from my hometown forever? These questions keep me up at night, quite literally. It’s also very sad to feel second-class, someone lesser. Well, that is until April 15 rolls around, and then I’m just as important as everyone else! All right, I’ll knock off the sarcasm.

I am very pleased with my life, but if DOMA were undone, things would be easier and fairer for me and many other people. The inclusion of same-sex binational couples in Comprehensive Immigration Reform would also give us the option to live my home country.

 Are you a same-sex binational couple?  Do you have families / friends affected by this issue?  Please contact us at if you are interested in sharing your story.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If there is a Goddess, DOMA will be overturned (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonEuclidian, aggieric, SteelerGrrl

    and you can live in a state that will recognize your Argentine marriage. This whole horror story that breaks up families makes me so mad I could scream. I'm straight and married but I have gay friends,a gay cousin and a gay nephew. I want them to have the same rights I do, and nothing less.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:47:18 AM PST

  •  Action for Family Unity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mortifyd, aggieric

    In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    by boriscleto on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:35:55 AM PST

  •  How disheartening that even at dKos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this is the level of attention our collective plight receives.

    A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

    by aggieric on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:36:39 AM PST

    •  If you want to get attention here (0+ / 0-)

      tie your plight to an election contest and tell us what we can do to make it happen. For example, DOMA depends on the gerrymander and the filibuster. But who, specifically, stands in your way?

      Does either Marco Rubio or John McCain have anything to say on the matter, for or against, in their immigration proposals? What has Obama said about it? Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden for 2016? What could the effect be of any of the pending Supreme Court cases, either over DOMA or the Texas gerrymander? I could mention a few Republican Governors, too, such as Chris Christie, whom I will not forgive for vetoing a gay marriage bill.

      The stated mission of this site is to elect better and more Democrats, usually in that order. Replacing Scalia (the oldest pseudo-Conservative on the Supreme Court) is another high priority, whenever we get the chance.

      We are past the tipping point on LGBT rights, and gaining strength every day. Demographic trends indicate that Alabama and Mississippi will be the last states to tip, perhaps in 2024. When we get the Senators from 31 states, we can break any filibuster. At 37 state legislatures, we can get a Constitutional amendment, if it is still necessary.

      Also, you are in excellent company.

          Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
          Could ever hear by tale or history,
          The course of true love never did run smooth;
          But either it was different in blood—

          O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low.

          Or else misgraffèd in respect of years—

          O spite! too old to be engag'd to young.

          Or else it stood upon the choice of friends—

          O hell! to choose love by another's eyes.

          A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 1, scene 1, 132–140

      Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.
      [Ilsa lowers her head and begins to cry]
      Rick: Now, now...
      [Rick gently places his hand under her chin and raises it so their eyes meet]
      Rick: Here's looking at you kid.


      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:40:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DOMA and other civil rights issues get a lot of (0+ / 0-)

      coverage here and most people seem very well aware of the details.   I also suspect that most kossacks are pretty confident that DOMA will be history in a few months.

      If this were a diary about some new legal filing or political event in regards to DOMA, it would get a lot more comments.

  •  Tipped & rec'ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  June 30th, 2013 (0+ / 0-)

    You won't have to wait much longer.

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