Not a hypothetical situation: a lesbian couple in VT, who has been together for more than ten years and got married in 2011. A happy, stable, loving couple. But because of the DOMA, they don’t have a simple right granted almost immediately to heterosexual couples: the right for their family to stay together. One of them faces deportation because her partner cannot apply for the right for her to stay in the country, thanks to the DOMA.
I’m familiar with this process, and I know how easy it was for us. It’s heartwrenching for me to think about the decisions I might have had to make if the option to stay in this country had not been available to me. And precisely because I know the process, and because I DID have options, my heart breaks for them: I can’t claim that my relationship is more valuable, more stable, more beneficial to society that theirs, and yet that is the message they are receiving. The message they hear, in a subtle way from the legal system but in a far more overt way from those who oppose their union, is that the mere existence of their relationship is a threat to the stability of marriage, a blow against the very balance of the family unit, which is a core building block of society. How can that be? How can this be a message we want to send to them?
How can anyone claim that splitting this family up, or forcing them to relocate to a different country in order to stay together, is a positive action for society to take? How can anyone say that either tearing them apart as a couple, or tearing them away from the community in which they live, is a good thing that provides any kind of benefit to anyone involved?
Stop the MN Marriage Amendment, stop the deportations, and end DOMA. We are all better than this.