Op-Ed: Same-Sex Binational Couples Alone at the Holidays but Hopeful DOMA will be Overturned
Inger’s daughter chose to accept me as her parent and needs and wants me around. She has grown so much as a person in the last six months and I hate that I am missing out on her childhood. For as much as she has grown, she is still our little girl. I feel privileged that both Evie and Inger have given me this opportunity but I feel like I am letting them down because I have to leave again. We all become so dependant on each other so quickly then have to go back to a life via a phone and a computer. Money we should be saving for normal things like a house, a college fund for Evie, a future…..is spent on flights for a few weeks a year of family life. I know that we are luckier than many bi-national couples as I have supportive and understanding employers who allow me to take extended unpaid leave, for which my family is eternally grateful. It’s a luxury many couples don’t have, yet it shouldn’t be this way.
It is Friday 30th November and today the United States Supreme Court may take up several same sex marriage cases. The Obama administration in February 2011 decided it could no longer defend section 3 of DOMA based on it being unconstitutional. The Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management case has been credited largely for aiding this decision. However, the Republican led House has since seen fit to invest $1.5 million of the taxpayer money into defending the act. For Inger and many other Americans this means that their hard-earned wages are being used to defend a law that keeps their families apart which in itself is frustrating and gut wrenching.
So, I guess today is hopeful. Things are changing and I believe at least now the USA has a president that publicly supports our relationships. If Mitt Romney had been elected we would have no hope because he was openly against equality for same sex couples. We need for people to support equal rights and be vocal about this. If the Supreme Court rules DOMA unconstitutional we and at least 36,000 other bi-national couples stand a real chance at having a family life and a future. After reading many articles on the impact that these cases could have if the outcome is positive, a best-case scenario is that DOMA could be gone by summer of next year. For us, that feels like a lifetime away but it means we could start the immigration process and be treated the same as our heterosexual counterparts.
You can’t control who you fall in love with. When you meet the person that finally makes your life make sense you have to hold on as tight as you can because without that person nothing really seems to matter anymore. Love should not be controlled by government.
Here is the first story Philippa wrote about being part of a binational couple that appeared on SheWired in 2010.