A Brazilian gay man who only recently reunited with his Massachusetts-born husband might now face deportation, the Associated Press is reporting.
Attorney General Eric Holder has reportedly declined to reverse an immigration ruling which separated Genesio "Junior" Oliveira, 31, from his husband, 49-year-old Tim Coco of Haverhill, Mass.
Oliveira returned to the U.S. in June after three years back in his native Brazil. According to the AP, U.S. Senator John Kerry had pressed federal officials to allow Oliveira to return to Massachusetts on humanitarian grounds. But now, Oliveira once again faces political refugee status and may be forced to return to Brazil within six months.
According to an earlier AP report, Oliveira sought asylum in the U.S. in 2002, after claiming he had been raped as a teen in his native Brazil. Though that request was effectively denied, he married Coco in 2005, and the newlyweds bought a house together shortly thereafter.
As the federal government does not recognize gay marriages under the Defense of Marriage Act, Oliveira's request to remain in the United States based solely on his relationship with Coco was denied last year. "The fact is that if Tim and Junior were a heterosexual married couple, they would never have suffered through more than two years of separation," Kerry spokeswoman Brigid O'Rourke said in 2009.