A California gay man's heartbreaking plea to prevent the deportation of his immigrant husband is making the blogosphere rounds just days before the couple's March 22 federal immigration court hearing.
In a blog for The Doma Project: Stop The Deportations, San Francisco resident Brian Willingham, who is banned from petitioning for his same-sex spouse Alfonso Garcia's green card under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), writes:
"As a gay American citizen the federal government offers me zero, zilch, nada, null access to the federal rights that all married couples have. This is not an issue of separate but equal. There are no separate federal rights for married gay couples. There are no rights at all. This is not a front of the bus, back of the bus issue. This is the federal government telling us to get the hell off of the bus. They called it the “Defense of Marriage Act” when they made it law in 1996 when I was only 22 years old. But now that I am 37 and I am being persecuted by the federal government, I can tell you that DOMA is more like 'Destroy Our Marriage Aggressively.'"
Of Garcia, a Mexican native whom he describes "an integral part of our family and is there for every joyous celebration," Willingham notes, "Our lives are meant to be together –- to be here for each other, like any couple."
"So Mr. President I need your help," Willingham concludes. "I am calling on you to stop the deportation of my husband. Not with vague references to a deportation policy that has been reformed to keep families together, but with explicit written directives to stop deportations of couples like, who but for DOMA, would have access to a green card."
Earlier this month, David Gonzalez, a gay Costa Rican immigrant, was spared from deportation by a Texas immigration judge based on his same-sex marriage to a U.S. citizen in a case that was hailed as "great news" by local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates, The Houston Chronicle reports.