The evils of DOMA

A same-sex married couple fights the U.S. Government's efforts to force them to live a continent apart

Published May 18, 2011 12:18AM (EDT)

Other obligations prevented me from writing today, but I wanted to encourage people to watch the below four-minute video.  MSNBC's Thomas Roberts has been one of the very few American journalists covering the plight of same-sex binational couples under the Defense of Marriage Act and, in this segment, he interviews U.S. citizen Josh Vandiver and his legal spouse, Henry Valandia, a native of Venezuela (they were legally married last year in Connecticut).  Because DOMA expressly bars the U.S. government from granting immigration rights to the same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens based on their spousal relationship (the way the U.S. Government routinely grants such rights to the opposite-sex spouses of American citizens), Valandia faces deportation back to Venezuela -- meaning Vandiver would be forced to live thousands of miles and a full continent away from the person with whom he wants to spend his life (their Congressman, Rep. Rush Holt, has been actively attempting to stop Valandia's deportation and to help enact legislation providing for immigration rights for such couples).

I genuinely can't comprehend how any person could watch this video -- and there are tens of thousands of couples in the same situation -- and support this outcome; that includes -- perhaps especially -- "small government" conservatives incessantly insisting that the Federal Government should not be intervening in people's lives and making decisions for them.  Imagine if you were barred from living on the same continent as the person you love most and had to watch your own government try to deport them from your country all because they're not the gender the government decrees you should have for your spouse (the group Stop the Deportations suggests actions here for those so inclined):

By Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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