By Madison Reed, LGBT Immigration Equality Rights
I have lived and traveled in many different places all over the planet, and experienced many cultures. For the past 20 years, I have been the owner of New Earth Resource Company, a spirit, mind and body wellness store in my hometown of Huntington, West Virginia. I'm also a licensed real estate agent and blog owner who writes for his blog, "Lotus Opening," - a blog devoted to news and information about enlightenment, human rights and innovation, and the inevitable rise of what I refer to as “enlightened capitalism.” I am very passionate about human rights of people all over the world.
Myself and other gay and lesbian Americans like me who have foreign-born partners, need the help of gays and lesbians all over the world to help them spotlight their terrible situation.
"U.S. federal law denies gay and lesbian American citizens any means to sponsor their foreign same-gender spouses or permanent partners for permanent residency. Under the acclaimed family uniting immigration law of the United States, only a citizen legally “married” to a foreign national has the right to sponsor his spouse for immigration to the United States and permanent residency – and that means a heterosexual marriage only.
To make matters worse for me, because my Belarusian partner Dzmitry lives in Belarus, a politically isolated and economically disadvantaged nation outside the visa waiver zone, and Dzmitry lacks strong ties to his home country required for him to obtain a U.S. visa - because he has no wife or children, no mortgage obligation or a good professional job to tie him to Belarus - he has never once been able to visit me in the United States, and there seems to be no hope of that changing unless the discriminatory and persecutory laws against American LGBT citizens are eliminated. In our seven years of relationship, myself and my partner have never been able to enjoy a single day of time together in a country that is not overridden with homophobia. We don't even possess a photo together!
So many American gay and lesbians in binational relationships just give up after having their lives consumed by the effects of years of stress and loneliness. Still others have committed suicide, become refugees to other nations, or if they're financially able to do it, they have found a willing third country that will accept two gay foreign nationals for legal residency. American gay and lesbian binational couples are living unbearable lives, and this has been going on for decades, right under the noses of lawmakers who know about it, but have so far refused to do anything about it. This amounts to offical state-sponsored persecution against gays and lesbians in the United States.
Please help American LGBT binational families call attention to the Uniting American Families Act, a bill before Congress to repair the glitch in U.S. immigration law that keeps gay and lesbian families apart. It's time that the deeply hypocritical United States is exposed for what it is doing to its own gay and lesbian citizens. In the meantime, I'd like to see a humanitarian gesture from the Obama administration, that would allow foreign partners of gay and lesbian Americans to make visits for six months or a year at a time, until the anti-human, anti-gay, and unconstitutional laws in the United States are either abolished by Congress or by a presidential executive order.
President Obama should issue an emergency Presidential Executive Order immediately, to force the UAFA into law, or at least direct U.S. immigration authorities to begin allowing extended stay visitors visas for the foreign partners of gay and lesbian Americans. He has the legal authority to do it, if the will is there. Apologists and other groups, including self-appointed gay organizations in the United States, in bed with the U.S. political system have made excuses for the President, saying that he cannot issue an executive order, but this is simply false. The buck stops with the President of the United States. He is the chief defender of the U.S. Constitution, and has taken an oath to defend the rights of all Americans. When all else fails, and American lives are being harmed, he must act to protect them.
My reply to Vice-President Biden's request to support the election of Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) to the Senate
Asunto: Re: 21 / The way Democrats can get elected in November
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dear Vice-President Biden,
Within 21 days, President Obama's administration must do something to fulfill even one promise to the LGBT community, he made during his campaign to be elected. We were a major force in getting him elected. I for one, spent hours on my telephone, calling people in Montana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states, urging them to vote for Senator Obama, and then, to go to the polls. Not one campaign promise has been accomplished! And some of our hero civil rights activists like Lt. Daniel Choi, get arrested for demanding our rights! This is not good for the Democrats.
My life has been nearly devastated because as a gay American, my constitutional rights in so many areas are blocked by governments at all levels in the 50 states. I've been living like an exile in my own country, separated from my Sweetheart who lives 4,000 miles from me in another country. Since he lives outside the visa waiver countries, there's no practical way for him to be issued a visa, since he makes $150 a month, has no mortgage and is single. If he tells the immigration officer the truth about why he's coming to the United States - to visit the person he loves - any possible chance of getting a visa would be denied. We've been living with our lives wrapped in the vicious effects of discrimination for 7 years now.
I will not go to the polls and vote this November, unless I see the Commander in Chief - the main defender of our Constitution, President Barack Obama, intervene quickly, to stop some of this wanton assault against LGBT Americans. But we don't trust nice sounding rhetoric any more. We need real action.
To start with, he could announce publicly that he will no longer defend repugnant DOMA or disgraceful Don't Ask Don't Tell, and just let them die. This would also send a strong message to Congress, as well as to the states, who, although separate in powers, look for inspiration from the President of the United States.
President Obama has the legal authority to issue an P.D.D. or a presidential memorandum, to allow gay Americans like me to go ahead and bring our partners/spouses to the United States, ending our God-awful suffering, or even to give our partners a stop-gap special visa category to allow them visits while Congress gets the gonads to end all anti-American laws!
Can you imagine the wave of support the Democrats would get if they'd do something to defend love, integrity and honesty by taking a stand to help our community now?
Good luck Mr. Vice-President. I wish the Democrats success. For me as a gay American, there's little difference between a democrat who does nothing to end vile discrimination against our community, and republicans who do nothing to end vile discrimination against our community.
Blessings to you and your family,
My story: http://imeq.us/our_stories/files/3d6cd10892748df68a3e6a96fcb62498-44.htm Other Stories of Gay Americans with Foreign Partners: http://imeq.us/our_stories/stories.html About the Uniting American Families Act: http://out4immigration.org/immigration/page.html?s=immeqla&cid=1131 Tell Congress to Pass the Uniting American Families Act: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_congress_to_pass_the_uniting_american_families_act_2 Petition for Special Visa for Binational LGBT Spouses/Partners: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/special_visa_for_binational_lgbt_spouse-perma-partners
Dzmitry and I are with other same-sex bi-national couples, in this video about the need for the passage of the Uniting American Families Act, a bill pending in Congress, that will allow gay and lesbian Americans with foreign partners, to sponsor them to immigrate to the United States - something that only heterosexual Americans can currently do.