Mark Himes (right) and Frederic Deloizy (middle) have been together for 22 years and are raising four children in their Harrisburg, PA, home. They even got married in California in 2008, back when it was legal.
But since Deloizy, 48, is a French citizen the men had to travel to Philadelphia with their attorney Lavi Soloway (above far left) to request a “family reunification petition” from the local Citizen and Immigration Services office to get him a green card.
The men are involved with Stop the Deportations, a group focused on keeping binational LGBT families like theirs united.
As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Himes and Deloizy know there’s every chance their petition will be denied but they’re willing to take a stand. “We will fight,” said Himes. “We didn’t look to be the people fighting for their cause, but we will certainly become those people.”
Though the men are just one of an estimated 30,000 gay and lesbian binational couples living in America, their case is rare because they didn’t wait for the government to take action against Deloizy to file their petition. “With a green card, we can build our future,” he tells the Inquirer. “Without it, we are in a tunnel.”
Here’s hoping there’s a light at the end of that tunnel.
Photo: Tom Gralish/Philadelphia Inquirer