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Gay Americans forced to choose between love and country

February 22nd, 2013
12:51 PM ET

By Mick Krever & Claire Calzonetti, CNN

Love or country – it’s a decision many gay Americans with foreign partners are forced to make.

It may seem counterintuitive; in the past few years, a wave of American states have legalized gay marriage.

But because of a 1996 federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government does not recognize those unions.

The result is that a heterosexual American can sponsor his or her partner for U.S. visa, but a gay American cannot.

Rather than break the law or split up, many gay couples are leaving American shores.

That was precisely the situation that Brandon Perlberg found himself in when his British partner, Benn Storey, who had been in the U.S. legally on temporary visas, was told it was unlikely he would ever obtain a green card to stay.

The couple had lived in New York for seven years, but upended their lives and moved to the United Kingdom to stay together.

“We never considered separating,” Storey told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour from London on Thursday.

“We had always thought that this was going to be our backup plan,” his partner, Perlberg, added. “At the beginning of last year, it became certain that if we did not move now, we really faced the risk of being indefinitely separated. And that wasn't a risk we were willing to face.”

In New York, Perlberg had been a practicing attorney. But his expertise in New York and American law was not valued in London, and he struggled to find a job.

“That was one of the most difficult parts of this process for me,” he said. “I spent eleven months hemorrhaging financially, burning through savings and going on interviews.”

President Obama has made immigration overhaul a top priority for his second term. Part of his proposal is to recognize, for the first time ever, gay partnerships when evaluating visa applications.

Perlberg, the American, said he is conflicted about his feelings for the U.S.

“On the one hand,” he said, “I love my country and I've never felt more personally attached and involved in its future as I do right now, as there's a debate going on as to immigration and a debate going on as to same-sex marriage. At the same time, I cannot shake this feeling of resentment that I have, that our lives were taken away from us.”

Unlike many intra-national gay couples forced to choose between love and country, they had a fallback, because Storey happened to be from a country, the U.K., that allows gay citizens to bring in their foreign partners.

“We are very much the lucky ones,” Storey said. “There are people who have no option but to go back to their home country and separate from their partner.”

READ MORE: Why is Uganda attacking homosexuality?


Filed under:  Gay Rights • Latest Episode
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Jahshield

    I read the comments made by these gay couples, I read the sadness in their lifestyle. The world's really waking up on the wrong side of the bed!

    February 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • hector

      there is no "sadness in their lifestyle" moron. The sadness comes when buttmonkeys such as yourself try to restrict, vilify and oppress. Get a grip on reality. You will wake up on the wrong side of history and just like the people holding signs that say "no ni%*ers in our school" you too will be ashamed for your bigotry. When your children ask you how one group oppress another group of people, remember which side you put your alliances on.

      February 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Reply
      • E Holder

        Hector, I'm sorry – you're a moron. You are hereby sentenced to be a Congressman for the next 20 years!

        February 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
      • Jon

        Bwaahaa.. I don't think so. Wrong side of history for standing up for what is morally right..Maybe in your world. On what basis do you decide what is moral and what isn't? Who are you to call people who stand up for morality, bigots? I am a bigot towards that which is Immoral..and for that, there is no shame. I don't advocate hate towards the person.. but I won't agree with the person's lifestyle.. And Wrong side of history..Perhaps the wrong side of YOUR history.... Where does YOUR moral authority come from? Who are YOU to decide that others who disagree with you are Bigots? RACE is not IMMORAL... YOU ARE AS MUCH A BIGOT as anyone else. I know where my morality comes from, and it doesn't change at the drop of a hat.. Even in the face of self-righteous arrogant jerks like you. The only way you can justify your "feelings" and feel all self-important and righteous is to resort to name calling. I, for one are no more a racist than you are.. But at least I know know what's moral and what isn't.

        February 25, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • cookie

        Hector you are more than a MORON...tHERE IS NO WORD FOR YOU,,GO TO HELL YOU IDIOT!!!~

        February 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • OldCactus

        You perverts once had the good sense to recognize how much normal persons were sickened by your perversity. Now you are in our face, saying come look at how sick we are, men lusting after other men and women lustiong after other women. Nature produced male and female of every member of the animal kingdom for reproductive purposes. Male on male can never procreate, when you gain that ability we will accept you, until then some will only pretend to do so for PC sake.

        February 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • summerseale

        Jon,

        Your side used to claim that marriage between black and white people was morally wrong as well. And your side used to claim that slavery was morally right.

        I do wish you'd learn something from history.

        February 26, 2013 at 4:32 am |
    • kungur77

      let em all leave pls, take aids elsewhere

      February 24, 2013 at 6:45 am | Reply
      • Stephen Falk

        Are you really that much of a racist idiot? really?

        February 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Nelly Cobb

      ABSOLUTELY!!!

      February 24, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • E Holder

      So what's the problem? Fluffy and Muffy move to the land of poofters. I just wish I could marry my bunny rabbit Phoebe. These judges can be so cruel.

      February 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Reply
      • Patti

        You know you have to be older than 12 to get married so don't be so silly.

        February 25, 2013 at 7:11 am |
      • Nelly Cobb

        Just move to France! There they are marrying everybody! What they call "le marriage pour tous". The only one
        not so convinced about getting marriage is their president. he he he.

        February 26, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  2. Anja

    Love is more important.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  3. Terri

    Oh come on, they knew this was a risk. Obviously this country is not ahead of its time in these issues. You seem shocked this is happening? You are very naive to think you are special and that this wouldn't happen to you. This issue of gay rights is so trivial yet for some reason the RIGHT powers that be feel the need to intrude in such a simple thing. In fact it is such a non issue that the fact that congress is wasting time on these matters as opposed to our starving children is disgusting.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • August

      There is no reason this should be happening. Just because other evil things happen doesn't mean one can't pursue to stop evil in other ways. While this issue won't kill anyone, it is still hugely important to many people.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      The isue of gay rights is so trival ? What an asinine comment to make. Trivial for whom ? You ? Your comparison to starving children seems off the wall ! What else would you use to defend a position ?
      It may have taken until now for the issue of Gay rights to have reached a zenith but you can count on the fact that Gay rights will be achieved in my lifetime. I am grateful every day that the people who hold your positions seem to be dying off.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Reply
      • You misunderstood`

        I think they meant trivial as in giving gay people rights should be a trivial thing – the solution is trivial. As in the government should just give everyone equal rights under the law and move on to tackling problems that don't have such easy solutions.

        February 23, 2013 at 6:20 am |
    • Peace and Love

      What do you have a lump of coal as a Heart?

      February 23, 2013 at 2:35 am | Reply
    • AmericanSam

      Love is not trivial.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Reply
    • Charmain

      Thank you for that I am not the only one that thinks the way you do. I am sick and tired of time and money being wasted on this issue. We are still in a failing economy and we are still suffering out here with no jobs and poverty. I say get out of your pitty pots and use some of that money time and energy to help your suffering country men to help improve the lives of all of us.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Reply
      • Mark

        There were recessions in the 1950s, but the Civil Rights movement marched on. Just give everyone the right to marry who they like with equal rights, and then we can move on. The idiots in Congress are trying to sink the economy with austerity and default, so the least we can do is have a decent, equal system of laws.

        February 24, 2013 at 9:17 am |
      • tahnl

        So, you want my money and help but not me and my husband. Sorry, it's a package deal.

        February 24, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • E Holder

      It's not trivial. It's way more important than those camouflaged fools killing each other in Afghanistan!

      February 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  4. Waleed

    imagine what happen to gay people or partners in the middle east...

    February 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • mike

      yet we are discussing the West, including comparison to central and easrn Europe, Mexico, where gays can form legal bonds and USA does not allow it.
      Gay Middle Easteners receive political asylum abroad with no problems.

      February 23, 2013 at 5:40 am | Reply
  5. bibleverse1

    There should be a remedy within the confines of law. Where did they meet? And does the country they go to recognize them? How many people is it?

    February 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • MartinKerr

      Thankfully, religion is already in decline in Europe and also now in the USA. Then we might have a world of tolerance and freedom and not have someone´s dogma rammed down all our throats. Halelujah!

      February 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
      • Nah

        martin: "Thankfully, religion is already in decline in Europe and also now in the USA. Then we might have a world of tolerance and freedom and not have someone´s dogma rammed down all our throats."

        You meant this to be ironic, right?

        February 23, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  6. Jackie

    I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to read this tonite on CNN. 4 years ago I had to make a choice between staying in the states with my two children and breaking up with my partner of 6 years, or moving to Sweden to be with her. Thank goodness Sweden is one of those places like the UK. I cannot even begin to describe how all of this has felt, how I have felt over the last few years. What I have had to do! Learn a new language, completely re-educate myself to an entirely new culture, all for the sake of loving someone the US thinks I should not. I also have mixed feelings about the US, but I am born an American and will always have a sense of pride for that.

    February 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • MartinKerr

      Well done Jackie. Many people are incapable of what you´ve achieved. People who criticize have very little humanity. You should have every right to live happily in your own country, according your own morals.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Geert

      How weird, for Americans it seems some odd sort of another odd religion, or else you must be schizo.....

      February 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • E Holder

      Oh Jackie I'm so proud of you. I just know your shoes and handbag will always match after this!

      February 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  7. JM

    My partner and I had to spend 120k to keep him in the country (under a student visa) when we were in our 20's. After he finished..he had 2 months to leave the US. We have settled in Switzerland.

    I can't even visit the US now. If I were in an accident, my family would have control over everything and my partner (legally registered in Switzerland) would not even be guaranteed a visa to visit me.

    Regardless of what Obama does now, it doesn't change the past...the financial hardships...and the terrible discrimination that my partner received every time that he crossed the US border. I really doubt he will give us any special treatment to make up for our suffering as other minority groups have received.

    I will, unfortunately, give up my US citizenship at the end of the year...and close a chapter of my life.

    February 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Wish you the best. The US is not recognizing it's potential. Perhaps it will one day. Hopefully, soon as many people are needlessly suffering.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      You don't have to renounce your citizenship, but that's obviously your choice. I assume you now have Swiss citizenship. Don't renounce your citizenship until you have another passport. Swiss citizens don't require a visa to visit the US, but if you don't want to visit, you don't want to visit. Canada's a nice place to visit that's similar. You can go to the border and waive hi...

      February 24, 2013 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • Geert

      Do it and be proud of that inherently superior passport you'll have the privilege to carry...

      February 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • E Holder

      Well there you are! You had freedom of choice and you made it. Good for you – so what is your problem?

      February 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  8. Nick

    I too left the US to be with my British Partner. We have been living in the UK for eight years now and in that time I have only been able to visit my family once. My mother has been able to travel to England four times. I should never have been forced to choose between Love and Country. We had a good life in the US for five years then I had to sell everything I owned, including my home, give up the American dream all because I couldn't sponsor my partner(we have now been together 14 years).

    February 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  9. tom-ay

    i ask if any straight person would be willing to do this for their partnership.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Hillman

      Yes

      February 23, 2013 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • Hank

      Absolutely. Anything for love.

      February 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      Yes, I married a Polish woman and have been living in Poland for the last 10 years.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:32 am | Reply
  10. jimmydemello

    Please gay couples, continue to leave.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • David

      Iran has good weather.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:52 am | Reply
    • Sawdee

      From your comment it is apparent that those who did leave took tact and talent with them. You certainly don't have it. Perhaps the wrong person left. Sad for the USA

      February 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Reply
    • xusmcvet

      I would bet you're a self-loathing closet case! Bigot!

      February 26, 2013 at 10:25 am | Reply
  11. mcalleyboy

    I have noticed this trend in the Philippines many gay men from the US living with partner, seems like many of them are Proffessers or highley educated or book writers and Youtube bloggers.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  12. Figaro

    Let them leave to make it safer for our children.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
    • jayhow

      Please elaborate! How do gay people leaving your country make it safer for your children? I am very interested in your explanation because I'm having a difficult time making a connection.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
      • Figaro

        Because it is a perversion like all the other human perversions. We should be aiming at the highest standards in human behaviour, not the lowest.

        February 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • leah

        They still don't realize the damage to society they are. They want freedom to get married, to travel, ask for their partners to come as a residents, and to display their " love" in front of everybody else. I respect them, they are human beings also, but where's my freedom to choose to raise my children in a world where I don't have to explain why to guys are holding hands, or women are kissing each other, is just matter of this so called freedom, where is mine? specially when I think there's nothing natural to their condition. and don't come whith the hermafrodite issue, because even they aren't able to reproduce...let me know when you gay people evolve to be able to procreate. then will discuss the matter of nature ¬¬

        February 26, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Peace and Love

      who is going to make the world safe from your ignorance?

      February 23, 2013 at 2:36 am | Reply
    • jayhow

      Figaro, yet you still failed to explain how gays or gay couples have any direct influence on the safety of your children. I don't know how you come up with these ideas. Personally, my highest standard of human behaviour is reasoning and intelligence. The beauty of your country is that we can agree to disagree. The unfortunate part is that many American citizens who are proud to be American get treated differently than everyone else. They have to make difficult choices because of whom they love. Why do you even care? Do two people loving each other and wanting to be together affect you in any way?

      February 23, 2013 at 2:49 am | Reply
      • Figaro

        If a child had 2 gay parents, very few responsible parents would allow their child to have a sleep over at the other child's home. The practises that gays engage in are not only vile and disgusting but an insult to proper standards of decency. They deserve the treatment they get. Right thinking people think the world would be far better without them.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:30 am |
      • Shelley

        Sounds great!

        February 24, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Michael

      Figaro,
      Odd choice of a name,.... an opera based on the desire of an oppressed underclass of people(Figaro) who wanted to marry.....hmmmmm shows the depth of your actual knowledge........

      February 23, 2013 at 4:13 am | Reply
    • Neo

      Im not gay, but what really ashames me is that humanity is still so primate with its young 200.000 years in a 14 billion years universe and you just proved it with your dumb commentary. Being gay is nothing but natural and allready explained by science! I admire everybody doing his way and find the love to be happy!

      February 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply
      • Figaro

        Sorry Neo, anal $ex between males is not natural. It is revolting, filthy and dirty and those people are a stain on humanity.

        February 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • ana

        Neo
        I trully agree with you. We are still in the early stages of evolution.

        February 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
      • mxnutt77

        Gay is natural??? And already explaind by SCIENCE???? ok, this I gotta hear.....

        February 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Logic

      Figaro, do not let people get you down. You stand for the truth, and that's all there is to it. Those who do not understand the truth will only get angry when it is given to them. Keep on keepin on my friend.

      February 24, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
      • hey16

        Isn't it time for you and Fiagro to come out of the closet?

        February 25, 2013 at 4:50 am |
    • Nelly Cobb

      You are totally right!! The government should offer them suitcases and one-way tickes!

      February 26, 2013 at 10:37 am | Reply
  13. nap3null

    So, who is the girl... Benn or Brandon?

    February 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • zanara

      What a stupid, nasty remark Nap. Please don't display such ignorance.

      February 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Lance

      Well Nap, that's simple if you really want to know. In lots of couples, especially now that it's more accepted and even more masculine men are out, neither one is the "girl" There are lots of men that perfer both positions and it has no effect on their lives outside of the bedroom. If people would just get over things that don't effect them then maybe I wouldn't be here in Afghanistan fighting for you to keep your rights while my own are discriminated against for who I love. I've met plenty of gay men that are a lot more of a man than any straight guy I know. I understand ignorance is bliss though so enjoy it while it lasts for you.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
      • Figaro

        What, American pooffs in Afghanistan! If that fact gets out, the Taliban will get more grass roots support. Suddenly, the Taliban don't look so bad now.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • E Holder

        What in Afghanistan has anything to do with anything anywhere else? You are there because you obeyed your orders and bless you for that. But they don't want you there and we don't want you there. Come home! Let the tribes go back to being tribes and blowing each other up if they wish. Freedom of choice – remember?

        February 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • mxnutt77

      Like, whos the pitcher? and Whos the catcher?

      February 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Nelly Cobb

      The one with the slack wrist!

      February 26, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
  14. Sarah

    Recently, I left the US for my partner as well, immigrating to New Zealand. Leaving my entire life and family behind has been extremely difficult, to say the least. We had always considered moving back to the states at some point, but after reading this article, I didn't realize how impossible of an option that might be. It sounds as though I will have to consider living in New Zealand, long term. What a sad realization.

    February 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  15. IValueAmerica

    I left my beloved USA more than 6 years ago for love. I still have to pay taxes, I still vote, but I do not have equal rights.

    There is a preference in America, a special privelage that must be stopped, the special privlage awarded to bigots to keep the rest of us from equality.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Reply
    • Cactus Jack

      What is this special privilege awarded to bigots and denied to perverts?

      February 23, 2013 at 2:02 am | Reply
      • Nelly Cobb

        Well said!!

        February 26, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  16. Michael

    I also left my Beloved USA for the one I love. Nearly a year ago, I said Goodbye to Family and friends and relocated to the Philippines. As much as I try my very Best to adapt, living here is a daily challenge that most will never ever remotely understand. I served nearly 31 years in the U.S. Army and have retired. It feels good too know that I helped defend the Rights of those privileged to marry the one's they love, albeit I don't possess that same Right myself. Equality is Equailty, and until Rights are equal, it will always remain the same, sadly as it is.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  17. steveso48

    Five years ago I left the US to be together with my partner in Malaysia. I feel so ashamed as I meet other bi-national couples who can live wherever they want and the US does not allow me to do the same. People here mistakenly think the USA is a land of rights and freedoms. They are astounded when I tell them our story. Beside being forced to live overseas the US government harasses us over our bank accounts because I live abroad. It's time for our government to quit preaching to other countries about human rights and assure that our own citizens be given those same rights.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Reply
    • Snooker

      The LAND OF THE FREE AND THE BRAVE is neither. I had to relocate to Germany to feel true freedom... And allowing the oppressesion of a minority for any reason is the opposite of bravery in my book.

      Hear, hear Steve!
      I too am a Love Exile of 8 years. Thankfully Germany accepted me and gave us the right of immigration. But I must still pay taxes to an America which does not grant me equal rights, and I too am harassed through the banking system because I make too much money here in my professional job.

      Would I return when this silliness is eradicated? I don't know. Besides not wanting to deal with the hate and bigotry of many Americans (seen in abundance even within this forum), I've built a life and career here.

      I'm with Steve above, It's time for the American government to stop the ceaseless preaching to other countries about human rights and fix what is happening in their own land.

      February 24, 2013 at 3:25 am | Reply
    • E Holder

      Steve – you are confusing human rights with special status. You are free to live the life you wish within the laws of the country you live. To ask them to change the laws to suit your personal preference is requesting special status.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Reply
      • Nelly Cobb

        Very smart answer!!! Thanks!

        February 26, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  18. Rick

    I can relate. I'm in Philippines and cannot bring my partner to the US. Also, can only stay in Philippines as long as I'm employed here – which becomes increasingly difficult over time as the country develops and doesn't want the expense of expats. So we are considering leaving both of our countries and moving to Canada. Tired of always starting over just to have the in-person companionship of my partner.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:22 am | Reply
    • Hank

      "can only stay in Philippines as long as I'm employed here – which becomes increasingly difficult over time as the country develops and doesn't want the expense of expats."

      But if you move to another country, at some point you will be a "local" and not an expat, right?

      February 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • E Holder

      Rick – it is your personal choice from the start. It was your choice to make so what is the problem?

      February 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  19. kwame

    i'м tempted τ̲̅ȍ denigrate gays,but ​Ȋ cautiously rein m̶̲̥̅Ϋ emotions cos ​Ȋve come τ̲̅ȍ notice tђã† its assumed into A̶̲̅ full movement.Even in A̶̲̅ black African country like ours,Nigeria;gays are on †ђε rise!Sø ​Ȋ guess bigotry nd prejudice has τ̲̅ȍ roll over τ̲̅ȍ make room ƒø̲̣̣r these 'new' people in our ever dynamic societies.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:54 am | Reply
    • Geert

      Apart from the crawl of disgusting overpopulation there is nothing dynamic in this inhertently cruel stone-age territory.

      February 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  20. pink

    Fake marriage between man and woman happening in USA to get job visa and green card. Government closing eyes towards them. lot of terrorist Migration from Somalia, Iraq, Iran to USA nobody care about that. Better go and live in Canada !

    February 23, 2013 at 2:06 am | Reply
  21. k

    I also left the US for the same reason – and settled in Berlin – there were no options for my partner and I to remain in the U.S. All of the diffiiculties others mention I also experienced – the need to integrate in a new world, culture, language. The need to re-establish oneself professionally and financially was very tough, but there was simply no other option for me as it would have meant giving up the relationship. But the cost was high – both emotionally and financially.

    February 23, 2013 at 4:49 am | Reply
    • Geert

      Did it also yield something and weren't you better of in most things important to being a human in that part of the world? The world is only starting east of Manhattan.....taking for granted what was offered to you there and fully denied to you with a plastic smile in the US: "You're welcome!" we Europeans always think " lick my...."

      February 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Sepulchre

      I also ended up in Germany, but I'm straight so technically my husband and I could go to the US, but I just don't know. I worked so hard here in Europe to be here legally, learn German and completely new systems – and while I miss seeing my family often, and being home in the Deep South, I also feel much more balanced here. I always feel it's an overload at home. Crazy loud family members, community drama, the feeling like im judged by my bank account balance, religious fanatics (i dont have a problem with religion really, but their fanatics seem really rabid and loud and the US has a lot), and the toxic politics among other social issues...i somehow always feel like im going to wig out after some time, like everything is always broadcast over a megaphone to grab your attention. It's probably just me, but I feel more collected and reasonable here in the long term than I do in the states. It's a struggle because I do honestly miss the US sometimes. There are just some things about America that make it America and you can't find anywhere else in the world.

      February 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  22. Kansas to Czech

    I did a study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic in 2007. I met my now partner of 4.5 years there and after graduating moved to Prague in 2008. We are lucky to live in a country that is under EU law guaranteeing a 5 year visa to any couple (gay or straight), who can prove they have been together for more than a year. After 5 years you can get long term residency. Sadly, we are only able to visit the US once a year to see my family. We would possibly like to relocate to the US, so I could spend more quality time with my parents, family and friends. As this article points out, this is not an option for us. I do think the future is bright. As a 27 year old from conservative Kansas I have seen a lot of change already. Most of my friends and relatives are quite conservative, but after seeing my partner and I together, they now strongly appose DOMA. Two family members and a friend wrote me emails after the last election saying how they had voted for Obama simply because they couldn't stand for the inequality of DOMA, hoping that my partner and I would one day soon have the option of returning together to MY home country. If this is happening in Kansas, it really won't be long until this is a non-issue... I hope!

    February 23, 2013 at 5:17 am | Reply
    • cos

      Get a life We hope you will be roaming about the world and dont find a place and than come to your senses Sad people who understand wrong the nature laws

      February 23, 2013 at 5:46 am | Reply
      • Jackie

        Nature laws? Please define the laws of nature for me.....I am dead curious.

        February 23, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • Geert

      Why not stay in HIS home country and discover even more advantages of living in the most interesting continent on the planet instead of going back to nowhere, and if they love you so much they can buy a ticket and visit you in the EU, but not longer than 3 months!!!

      February 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  23. Jimmy

    What is love in gaying?

    February 23, 2013 at 8:31 am | Reply
  24. Banjo Ferret

    This saddens Tim the Destroyer of Worlds, for he is both friend and ally to the LGBT community. Fear not gay friends, for the citizens of your country are slowly ditching the false sky daddies and recognizing Ferretianism as the one true religion. Let us vote Ferretians into office and lose this plague of archaic thinking. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    February 23, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
  25. pkphilip

    That is nothing man! i mean, just the other day I was trying to bring Minnie, my poodle from NZ, to come with me to the US – Minnie and I want to get married in the US. But the consulate has refused her the visa! I mean, this isn't even fair – she is a girl and I am a guy and so it isn't like this is some special gay marriage thing! why! why am I not allowed into my country with my partner?!

    February 23, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • whyyyyyyyy

      I know that feel I wanted to marry this hot 14 year old even do im 27 but its ilegal in the United States so now I would have to move to Spain or some more developted european country.

      February 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Reply
      • Nelly Cobb

        Jump in the toilette and don't forget to flush! You poor loca!

        February 26, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Geert

      Because it is pray to total anal retentiviness , that country cannot evolve beyond its immature shadow of a scant short history of human abuse and contempt.t

      February 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  26. Jackie

    Why do these topics always degenerate to fools who want to compare bestiality and pedophilia to a loving consentual relationship between two adults? sigh...some things never change.

    February 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Geert

      There is no education and even being hetero is a road paved with tetentive religious frustrations, it is called acquired sociopatihic disorder or ASD, and is rife in an immature country called US .

      February 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  27. Charles

    So what. Let them leave.

    February 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  28. empresstrudy

    Kind of not a mass movement. Idiots like Glenn Greenwald make a huge deal of it be he openly loathes and hates the US for 5 million other reasons. But they're in the tiniest of tiny minorities.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  29. Steve

    You are welcome to come up to Canada anytime.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  30. Lizzy10

    What is wrong with our country? A citizen who loves someone and wants them to be a part of their life should be able to sponsor them.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Snooker

      Thank you Lizzy for a reasonable response to a stupid situation.

      February 24, 2013 at 3:32 am | Reply
  31. are122

    President Obama has made immigration overhaul a top priority for his second term <~~~That's for sure...you can tell by unemployment and record welfare rolls.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
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    February 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  33. Forsake Gay and Abortion or perish!!

    Gay is an abomination to human race, They are the cause of the downfall of American economy, Let all of them leave the States so that America can be save from the war of God like the time of Babylon, God is watching and really angry with America because if this gay people, they can do anything to initiate someone to their evil act, I wish God fire would visit them all from this earth to hail-fire.

    February 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Rick Wired

      You are an id iot. Being gay or not gay has absolutely nothing to do with American economic success. Numerous highly productive, intelligent, or innovative people in history were gay.

      February 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • summerseale

      Yeah. You sound like you contribute billions to the economy with your non-gayness "success".

      Meanwhile, Tim Cook, head of Apple, who is gay, does more for the tech economy than you ever dreamed of. So I'd shut up if I were you.

      February 26, 2013 at 4:37 am | Reply
  34. cristian

    I will have a lot of sympathy for gays and lesbians when they produce the first child, someone to continue the human race... Until then all they do is play at marriage. perverse is perverse, no matter how m,uch they shout...

    February 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  35. Letemleave

    I speak for everyone when I say. GTFO

    February 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • Rick Wired

      Think about the American you admire the most, or whom you think has meant the most to the U.S. Now imagine that you suddenly find out that he or she is/was gay. Would you say GTFO to that person as well?

      February 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  36. raj

    this new coupling is way beyond my imagination how can some states or a country can even approve how you fill the forms who is the husband and who is the wife omg some technical and logical error a couple need to be a man and a woman period not sure why more discussions on the same two guys can live together if they want to same for two ladies if they feel to but dont have them addressed as weded couples it just creates a gender and orientation confusion which can be fixed if educated properly in the early age exceptions do occur but dont make it generic.....

    February 25, 2013 at 3:03 am | Reply
    • Chris

      Your comment's just as childish as your grammar.

      February 25, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
  37. Kelly

    Is it fair to say that your lives were 'taken away' from you? You're a lawyer. I don't know your specialty, but I am making the fair assumption you know federal law, based on the story. The DOMA law was in place before your relationship started. Regardless of what anyone's, including my own, opinions are on the policy, there weren't any surprises with respect to its effect on your personal life. I've had to move before because of national visa regulations, but one thing I never did was complain about the country or government taking my life from. I take responsibility for each decision I make, whether or not I believe the government should or can do something in my favor.

    February 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  38. ana

    YES WE ARE STILL IN THE EARLY STAGES OF EVOLUTION

    February 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  39. WWJreallyD

    what this actually comes down to is that the US is not truly the land of the free

    February 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • mxnutt77

      Truly free to LEAVE.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  40. Josh

    Good! Get out! You disgusting hosts of diseases. Hosting STD's til they mutate within you and become even stronger. You're a danger to us all, with your all your mutating diseases within you.

    February 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • dummyou

      Kill yourself and give us Somerset peace....have fun in hell

      February 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
      • Josh

        lol @ "hell". You're religious but you like gays? That's pretty asinine.
        I'm just being logical, look up the disease incidence in gays vs straights. They are hosting and spreading diseases like wildfire, and it endangers everyone.

        February 26, 2013 at 5:37 am |
  41. Laodicean

    The USA would be a better place if they all left and never returned. Decent people don't want them here. Their practises are degrading, filthy and disgusting. Good riddance to them all.

    February 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • leah

      True. They still don't realize the damage to society they are. They want freedom to get married, to travel, ask for their partners to come as a residents, and to display their " love" in front of everybody else. I respect them, they are human beings also, but where's my freedom to choose to raise my children in a world where I don't have to explain why to guys are holding hands, or women are kissing each other, is just matter of this so called freedom, where is mine? specially when I think there's nothing natural to their condition. and don't come whith the hermafrodite issue, because even they aren't able to reproduce...

      February 26, 2013 at 1:10 am | Reply
  42. Flaregas

    Well the US finnally found a way to rid themself of one disease!

    February 26, 2013 at 4:13 am | Reply
  43. eamon

    Many gay people have gone abroad to fight for their country,.while those who attack them have stayed at home,spouting out their bilious attacks on what is a personal matter. Grow up USA.

    February 26, 2013 at 7:27 am | Reply
  44. greg

    Welcome to the UK – land of the free. I know there are many decent americans, but one just has to read some of the comments posted here to see how many americans are from the fascist wing of christiany.

    February 26, 2013 at 9:09 am | Reply
  45. Cacalips

    I AM NOT GAY and I LEFT THE COUNTRY because it ressembled nazi Germany that I learned about in my history books. I came to EU where the health care is better, the food (horse meat even has more vitamins and less fat, and so that new "scandal" is actually good for you LOL). I look back at America and just feel sorry for my family and the other slaves still illusioned by "freedom" when all they are are corporate slaves. Thankfully the engineered economic collapse is waking people up. I hope they can organize to fight and create a better America. So many little things of true reedom are awesome once you leave: 1) We have no movie rating system, so this idea that only certain ages should watch certain things, does not exist. 2) Our drinking limit is lower and we have less violence due to alcohol 3) We do nost think it is cool to take vehicles and make them largerr than they should be to roll around in the forest (and yes, I used to do that in US, I know what is about). 3) We eat slowly and enjoy health of ourselves and others. (lol at the american tourist who drink our wine until they barf in the road because they cant enjoy themelf and never learned the joy of eating and drinking pacing). I can go on and on and on. It is not a cultural thing...it is a slave and pressure thing. It is like trying to incorporate prisoners into civilized world. And no EU is not perfect.

    February 26, 2013 at 9:09 am | Reply
  46. UKRocks

    This is not an issue facing gay people only. I had to leave the US and move to the UK because for certain technical reasons my wife was not allowed to live and work in the US even though she married a US citizen. I had to quit my job and faced years of financial hardship as a result. I contacted my senators and congress person and did not get any response from them (Thank you Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton).

    February 26, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
  47. Nelly Cobb

    Honey, the things you so much dislike about America, is just what makes America so different from the rest of the world!

    February 26, 2013 at 10:31 am | Reply
  48. Nelly Cobb

    The devil is GAY!!!!

    February 26, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
  49. tronald Dump

    why is it any of the feds business who someone screws? These fat old man are busy screwing every single one of us indiscriminantly.

    February 26, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
  50. Sonia

    I really thought we were the most primitive people in the world in Italy but you guys so much more further!

    February 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Reply

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