The love story began in April 1990 at a birthday party, which the couple describes as "love at first sight." One worked at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the other a university student. This first meeting turned into a whirlwind romance spanning decades and two continents. The couple ultimate wed in California in 2008, and now have four adopted children.
Unfortunately, there may not be a storybook ending for United States citizen Mark Himes and his French national husband Frederic Deloizy. Despite the fact that the couple's marriage is valid in the State of California, Deloizy is ineligible to receive any immigration benefits from his United States citizen spouse, and as such he may be just one more faceless statistic in the Obama administration's 400,000 deportations per year mandate.
Mark and Frederic's marriage faces the prospect of destruction, not because of the "broken immigration laws," but due to the Obama administration's continued enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the immigration context. In fact, if Frederic were a woman there would be nothing to worry about, and the Green Card process would be fairly straight forward.
DOMA prohibits the Federal recognition of same-sex marriages, further providing that States are not required to recognize same sex marriages. DOMA was signed into law in 1996 by a Democrat (President Bill Clinton) who is a proponent of gay rights. Democrat Barack Obama continues to enforce DOMA against immigrants married to United States citizens. This enforcement continues despite the fact that both the President and his Attorney General have stated that it is unconstitutional, and that it should not be enforced in Federal Court.
To paraphrase: With Democrats like these who needs Republicans.
The painful irony is that even Dick Chaney openly opposes DOMA, making him more progressive than either Clinton and Obama on the issue. Only now that the President is seeking reelection has Obama's view on gay marriage "evolved." It seems pretty clear to me that Obama's evolution is in spoken word, and not in deed.
More disappointments from the Lipservicer-in-Chief.
Thankfully, CNN.com has given this couple a voice so that the Obama Administration will be shamed into doing the right thing. It is an election year after all.
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Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).