Meet Binational Couples Affected By DOMA

Queer filmmaker Brynn Gelbard founded the DeVote Campaign to help shine a light on the plight of same-sex binational couples whose relationships are not recognized under DOMA.

1. There are 40,000 plus binational same-sex couples in the United States.

A series of short films , produced by the DeVote Campaign and the DOMA Project, have been released featuring LGBT families across America who are asserting their equality by petitioning for green cards.

3. They are demanding that the U.S. government treat them no differently than opposite sex couples under federal law.

“Most people don’t even know what DOMA is. The way that we get people to think about it today and bring it to an end is to introduce people to the couples impacted.” - Soloway

5. A few of the couples featured:

6. Yohandel & Daniel

Following their wedding in early 2012, Daniel overstayed his visa to remain in the U.S. with his husband, knowing the risks and sacrifices it entailed.

8. Becky and Saane

Becky and Sanne first met while traveling around India several years ago. Though able to live freely in The Netherlands, the first country in the world to grant full marriage rights to same sex spouses, they are raising their 2-year-old daughter, Willow, in Asheville, North Carolina.

10. Karin and Judy

Judy and Karin first met on an online lesbian-dating site over seven years ago. Self-proclaimed “golden girls”, they have become outspoken activists for immigration rights for binational same sex couples.

Karin has to decide if she can go to her son’s wedding in Scotland, or stay here in the U.S. with her wife. See her full story here.

12. Brian and Alfonso

Alfonso came to the United States from Mexico when he was only 14 years old. They met and fell in love in San Francisco. Even after more than a decade of life together, they still worry about their future because of DOMA.

14. Cathy and Catriona

Parents of three beautiful children, Cathy and Catriona were running out of options last year when Cathy’s H-1B visa petition was denied (she is a citizen of Ireland). They decided to join The DOMA Project, file a green card petition based on their marriage and assert their right to be treated equally under the law.

16. Watch the trailer:

See more couples and read about their stories here.

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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