It's a nice feeling when someone clicks "like" on your Facebook status. It's even nicer when one decides they'd like to share it on their own page. But when an array of celebrities and hugely popular news websites share one of your most personal moments and it is viewed by over a quarter of a million people, the feeling is indescribable.
A month ago, on our sixth anniversary, the DOMA Project released "Missing Husband," a video detailing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies millions of gay Americans over 1,100 rights, including the right to bring your foreign born spouse into the country to live. Even though my husband and I were legally married in New York City last year, our marriage is not recognized federally, and we are considered strangers to U.S. immigration. Despite being married, my husband and I are forced to live 6,000 miles apart from each other. In the past six years we have spent a maximum of 90 days together in the U.S., but customs and border patrol now told my husband that he has spent too much time here as a tourist and must remain out of the country for at least six months. Jason left L.A. in March, and once again we have no idea when we will see each other again.
Using a selection of photos and video footage of our 17th heartbreaking airport goodbye, the video captures the struggle that thousands of gay binational couples have faced for decades.
President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law in September 1996 at 1 o'clock in the morning, with no cameras present. By contrast, we pulled away the curtain on the raw, devastating, painful emotional impact of DOMA. No one watching "Missing Husband" will ever see DOMA as simply an abstract law:
Aside from our friends and family sharing the video, we were completely amazed by the celebrity support we received. Stars from the movie business (James Franco, Ashton Kutcher and Anna Kendrick), TV (Stephen Fry and Seth MacFarlane), the music business (Lance Bass) and more have tweeted our video, providing millions of people with the chance to learn about DOMA and its destructive impact on loving couples.
The constant outpouring of kindness and support into our inboxes has been inspiring, encouraging and uplifting during yet another separation that could be avoidable. The loneliness that comes with being separated has been eased thanks to the thousands of positive comments reminding us that we're not fighting this by ourselves. Of all the feedback, we have been proudest to inform so many people who had no idea that DOMA existed.
Social media and celebrity are interesting things. But take away those terms and what we have here is a group of friends, millions of humans who, through whatever means, simply love and respect each other's time on this planet. A tweet can educate, inform and inspire. It can also tell an oppressed photographer working in a grocery store in England that his battle with American politics is inspiring a global community to strive for equality.
In the coming days, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of DOMA, hopefully striking down the law that has cost so much harm and torn apart so many of our families. The nine justices of the Supreme Court will announce the decision they have been working on for three months. I believe justice will prevail, and that we will move forward as a country with a decision that we can be proud of.
See a selection of supportive celebrity tweets below: