02/13/2012 03:36 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

When DOMA Hits Close to Home

Martin Berusch:

We were shocked to find out on Saturday that our friend Allan Spyere, a selfless and true champion of the LGBT community, is facing imminent deportation. Allan, a native of Brazil, who, despite being married to his American-born husband Chris and having called the United States home for years now, is being detained at the Otay Detention Facility. Allan is facing deportation by the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) because he does not have full citizenship. He is facing deportation within the next two weeks.

As you will see below, Mike has written a heartfelt letter to vouch for Allan Spyere's impeccable character. We have faxed and emailed this letter of appeal to the Congress representative and City Councilmember of San Diego and ask for you, the reader, for your support in doing the same.

Just realize, folks, how homophobia impacts us all, in very real ways. Discriminatory legislature, such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), treats each and every one of us in the gay community as second-class citizens. This has to stop. And this must stop now. We must immediately stand together and stand up for our equal rights and demand the immediate and full repeal of DOMA, so that upstanding individuals, such as Allan Spyere, are not to face such dastardly consequences.

For more detailed information, please watch the following video:

And write, call, email, or fax your thoughts or plea to:

  • U.S. House of Representatives

    1526 Longworth House Office Building

    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Phone: (202) 225-2040

    Fax (202) 225-2948

  • 2700 Adams Avenue, Suite 102
    San Diego, Calif. 92116
    Phone: (619) 280-5353
    Fax: (619) 280-5311

    Attention: Congresswoman Susan Davis

  • San Diego City Council
    202 "C" Street, MS #10A
    San Diego, Calif. 92101
    Telephone: (619) 236-6633
    Fax: (619) 595-1481

    Attention: City Councilmember Todd Gloria

  • On behalf of Allan, I thank you for rallying on his behalf and for showing your support in his time of need.

    If you want to correspond with me directly, please write me on Facebook:

    Mike Ruiz:

    Please read my letter of appeal to both Congresswoman Susan Davis and to City Councilmember Todd Gloria on behalf of my friend Allan Spyere, which is self-explanatory. I urge you to also reach out to them, as well.

    Thank you so much

    Lotsa love,

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    As a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Montreal, Canada, I understand too well the intrinsic value that the United States has afforded me in being able to live out my dream. As such, I have not taken this privilege lightly. Almost two decades of steadfast and hard work, I count myself as one of the lucky ones to have been able to follow my passion into a profession as a successful celebrity photographer.

    Hand-in-hand with my success, I also realize the importance of giving back to the peoples of the country that has received me with open arms. In this regard, I have tasked myself with being a socially responsible human being, seeking to share some of the prosperity with the less fortunate and disenfranchised. As a consequence, I have become an ardent supporter of various community-driven organizations. In the process, I have made it my clarion call to surround myself with like-minded people whose intent is to foster the growth and general well-being of our fellow citizens.

    In the course of my humanitarian and charitable efforts, I became acquainted and later befriended an individual who is the embodiment of honesty, compassion, and selflessness. His name is Allan Spyere. Allan and I became quickly became friends, as he was the consummate professional in serving as liaison between me and the San Diego City Commissioner, who bestowed upon me the 2011 Harvey Milk Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. More saliently, Allan was also instrumental in successfully organizing one of my book signings for my coffee table book -- a collaborative effort where 100 percent of the profits from the sale of my book is donated to a nonprofit organization, The Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC).

    It has come to my attention that despite the fact that Mr. Spyere is married to an American citizen, he is faced with deportation to his native country, Brazil. The issue at hand is that Mr. Spyere is married to his husband -- a marriage that, though legal in the State of California, is not a federally recognized union. Hence, Mr. Spyere is caught in a bureaucratic dilemma regarding his status as an alien in this country and is at risk for imminent deportation.

    I am, along with hundreds of Allen's friends and supporters, making a personal plea to the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) to reconsider the deportation of Allan Spyere and allow him to continue living in the country he loves and calls home. This appeal is based on the extraordinary merit of his infallible character and based on the many invaluable contributions he has made to his community and to the country, such as the ones I described above.

    Thank you for your attention and hoping for a swift reversal in the decision to deport Allan Spyere.

    Mike Ruiz

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