Gay Immigrants Deported, Even in Legal Marriages

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November 1, 2010


"Joshua Vandiver, a Colorado native who is earning his Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University, said he is the studious type who has rarely embraced activism. But now, just months into his legal marriage to Venezuelan Henry Velandia, he is fighting to save his husband from being deported.

"...The Constitutional problem with DOMA is that states have historically controlled family law in issues of marriage, parenting and inheritance, according to Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal and director of the National Marriage Project.

"'Congress should not be interfering in the way that DOMA does,' she said.

"'Same-sex couples are not like a generation ago, when they consigned themselves to unhappy heterosexual marriages because following their own dreams was not possible,' she said. 'Now there is a visibility of gay people in all walks of life who can follow their heart and lead a fulfilling and not a miserable life.'"