Things are not different from my last Step 4 update, but here is the detail and why we are doing what we are doing…
Karin and I are still waiting to hear back from the San Jose USCIS office for
a rescheduled interview i.e., the “green card marriage interview.” So
far, Karin has been processed like any other spouse of a U.S. citizen
who is being sponsored for a green card by her American spouse. She
was fingerprinted to enable USCIS to run a security background check.
She received an Employment Authorization card which is good for one
year, through March 26, 2013. She has been twice scheduled for the
actual green card marriage interview.
Our first scheduled interview was postponed because our lawyer, Lavi
Soloway, was in court on another case in another state at the time of
the scheduled interview. When USCIS San Jose rescheduled that interview
date to June 12, we did not attend because our attorney had filed a
request for rescheduling based on legal developments that had occurred
in related cases and because of developments in late May and early June
2012 relating to the Defense of Marriage Act.
We are still waiting to hear when our appointment will be scheduled.
Our attorney requested that the interview NOT be rescheduled for at least
six months to allow the dust to settle on the various legal issues that
are currently in a state of flux. So we hope San Jose USCIS agrees to that – stay tuned!
We are not alone in our civil disobedience. We are glad for the company! Karin and I are leading a first wave of same-sex binational couples
defiantly demanding our rights as married couples seeking the same right
to apply for immigration for our non-U.S citizen spouses. We have done
this with our attorney Lavi Soloway as part of The DOMA Project’s Stop
the Deportations campaign. We are about six couples, all at the same
stage in the process. Like three couples in New York and another in
southern California, we are waiting to hear about our requests for our
case to be held in abeyance consistent with a request made by 17 United
States Senators in a May 10, 2012 letter to Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama. We are very aware that there are inconsistencies in what the federal government says and how USCIS
carries it out. We know it is inconsistent to deny green cards when DOMA
is called unconstitutional.
So we are fighting back.
We are fighting so that the USCIS will not destroy our marriages.
I am fighting so that Karin and I can stay together.
We are demanding our rights as equals.
We regard the filing of a green card petition and the demand that it
be held in abeyance and not denied to be an act of civil disobedience to
force the federal government to treat us fairly.
We are holding the federal government accountable for discriminating.
We are not just sitting around and letting that happen.
We do not have time left.
We can’t wait.
We are in our retirement, in our golden years.
Every day, every minute is precious to us.
As President Obama just told LGBT folks at the third annual White House
Pride event, “We’ve supported efforts in Congress to end the so-called
Defense of Marriage Act, and as we wait for that law to be cast aside,
we’ve stopped defending its constitutionality in the courts.” We are
taking President Obama’s advice when he says prodding has made LGBT
His quote at the White House event is our mantra:
“Now, I’ve said before that I would never counsel patience; that it
wasn’t right to tell you to be patient any more than it was right for
others to tell women to be patient a century ago, or African-Americans
to be patient a half century ago,” he said. “After decades of inaction
and indifference, you have every reason and right to push, loudly and
forcefully, for equality.”
We are ready to do what we need to do to make sure we stay together and
are treated equally. I want Karin to have a legal and safe existence
here with me. I want her to be protected by U.S. law like I am. I am
fighting this as a matter of conscience. I am waiting to hear that USCIS
agrees with my three Congressional representatives that Karin and I are
eligible for a green card, just as any other married couple who meets
the criteria is eligible for a green card.
So that’s the update – as of June 19, 2012. It’s stressful. It hurts. It saps us. But we need to keep going, so we put one foot in front of the other and keep marching down that road to equality.
And, here’s my regular sign-off on my posts.
Immigration Equality, Out4Immigration and Love Exiles Foundation are the three groups working on our issue – and the three groups who receive whatever money comes in from sales of my book, Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law, Findhorn Press, 2011.
My newer project, with David W. Ross, whose new film “I Do: The Movie” will be out in June 2012, is a portrait project of LGBT binational families, United by Love, Divided by Law Portrait Project. It expands the reach of my book and will keep adding portraits as we find couples and funds to add more. We will hold events to assist the work being done for our families by Lavi Soloway and Stop the Deportations – The DOMA Project. Check out the site at
and see the Facebook page at
To follow Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law, go to its Facebook page at:
Read an excerpt of my book at this link: http://bit.ly/eIyGxh
Order online from the publisher at this link:
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote the foreword to my book. She is an ally in our fight and has suffered from the immigration situation herself as part of a binational relationship. Though she and her boyfriend were able to marry, they know what the drill was and they advocate for LGBT binational families. We like that!
Remember, too, you can follow me and what I am doing and thinking and reading on twitter @tornapartbook