Do Ask! Do Tell!
I live in a country where I am a first-class citizen in every way. I have been married for 8 years. My wife and I have been together for 10 years next month.
Because I am a woman married to a woman, I don’t have the right that any male US citizen or alien permanent resident has: to sponsor my wife for a green card.
Last week I shared this story with 2 staffmembers of Senator Dianne Feinstein and five other binational couples denied the right to live legally in the USA because they are gay or lesbian.
I found myself saying: we have no federal rights in the United States. In my new home country, the Netherlands, and many other European countries, we are treated as equals with the same rights. Our families count. They are honored and respected just like any other family. It’s not very appealing to live in a country where we are second-class citizens.
Andrew Sullivan calls us the new American diaspora.
I get to live where in a place where I am a first-class citizen. Very few US gays and lesbians have that right.
Turns out I am not the only one who feels this way.
Kirk Wiley writes about his experience leaving behind a great job in Silicon Valley (as I did) to be with his partner in London — and about our broken immigration system. Please read this blog entry! And don’t miss the comment from happy gay expat.
I know many, many Americans living with their binational partners in countries where we are respected and treated equally (there are at least 19 such countries), who say they don’t want to live in the USA. They tell me they’re not love exiles, because they choose to live in the Netherlands, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, you name it.
Thank you Kirk for telling it like it is. Like you, I want to live in an America where we all have our rights, where our families are respected.
My mother, an 80-year-old widow who lives alone, is not less a mother because I am a lesbian. She deserves to have all of her children with her as she (and we) grow older. That’s why we need to include all families in federal marriage law, and give LGBT families the 1,138 rights that other families have. We need to strike down DOMA. We need to pass the Uniting American Families Act.
And let’s do that soon. Enough suffering. We have better things to do.