On March 8, Texas gave LGBTQ and immigration rights advocates one of the biggest case victories in the state. According to the Houston Chronicle, Costa Rican undocumented immigrant David Gonzales was spared by a judge from deportation due to his marriage to a male U.S. citizen. The court decision was an especially large victory due to the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of Texas.
According to the Chronicle, Gonzales left Costa Rica in 2000 on a U.S. tourist visa to escape an abusive relationship. While here, Gonzales met his now-husband Mario Ramirez in 2006, and the couple was married in Los Angeles in 2008. The couple has recently begun discussions about adopting children.
Gonzales was scheduled for deportation due to overstaying the length of his originally valid tourist visa.
“It’s great news,” Steve Ralls, a spokesman for Immigration Equality, which also advocates for LGBTQ rights, told the Houston Chronicle. “Now the individuals who are spared from deportation need to be able to receive that legal recognition that is so important as they continue to build a life here with their U.S. citizen partners.”
In a recent Huffington Post article, Ralls also commented on the plight of same-sex Vermont couple Takako Ueda and Frances Herbert. Although their marriage is legal in their home state of Vermont, Udea’s application for a U.S. green card has repeatedly been denied by the government. Udea and Herbert’s case is the more common experience that most same-sex binational couples in the United States undergo, due to the Defense of Marriage Act.
However, President Barack Obama has the ability to change this, according to Rall’s article. In hopes of spurring Obama to change his mind, a video campaign called, “My Family. Together,” has recently been launched. The YouTube-based site features videos of various binational same-sex couples asking Obama to keep their families together.
“No American should be expected to choose between marriage and family,” one couple’s video stated.