DOMA Threatens to Separate Same-Sex Couple

When they participated with their four adopted children in the White House Easter Egg Roll in 2010, Mark Himes and Frederick Deloizy took part in a tradition celebrating both the U.S. government and families everywhere. Now, the couple finds itself battling the government, as Deloizy faces deportation.

Deloizy and Himes met each other in Himes’ home state of Pennsylvania in 1990 and went on to forge a relationship despite the fact that Deloizy, a French national, often had to leave the country due to the vagaries of the U.S. visa system, CNN reported. The couple married in California in 2008, and in September 2011, Deloizy’s final visa expired.

Under these circumstances, a green card through marriage would almost certainly enable a heterosexual couple to stay together in the United States; however, the federal Defense of Marriage Act disqualifies homosexual couples from the same benefit. Under DOMA, the federal government – including federal immigration officials – cannot recognize same-sex marriages.

Regardless of DOMA, Deloizy has filled out a spousal green card application, and he and Himes will plead their case to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, which,according to CNN, is the customary process for these cases. It could take weeks for USCIS to render a decision.

Himes told the news source that because Deloizy does not have a work permit, the family of six must get by on a single paycheck.

“The private schools are gone, the nice cars are gone and the big house is gone,” Himes told CNN. “But we have our family and we have our love.”

Although DOMA threatens to separate some homosexual couples, deportations are affecting families of all kinds. A recently released Applied Research Center study found more than 46,000 mothers and fathers whose children are U.S. citizens were deported in the first six months of 2011.