DEFENDING MARRIAGE

WATCH: Ripped Apart By DOMA, A Gay Binational Couple’s Heartbreaking Goodbye

David and Jason met in 2007 during a trip Jason made to Los Angeles. Over the three days Jason was there, he and David fell in love and somehow managed to stay together through six years, 5,000 miles and 90-day tourist visas.

David and Jason married in New York in 2012, but Jason “isn’t welcome to the US as a Husband,” David writes on The DOMA Project. A UK citizen, Jason is only able to visit David for 90 days on a tourist visa. As they filmed Missing Husband, David and Jason were awaiting a decision on Jason’s H-1B work visa, which would’ve allowed him to stay for at least three years :

Jason has been warned for 2 years that he has visited the US too often using tourist visa waivers. It’s currently recommended that he wait 6 months before returning, or he may be denied entry as a visitor.

What most people don’t realize is that when Jason has landed, whether or not he is allowed out of LAX airport is at the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection officer. The past 2 years he has been taken aside to a small interview room, interrogated and had his luggage searched by officers suspecting he is lying about his reasons for visiting. They scoff at any explanation of the years of difficulties he’s had obtaining a visa, replying “it’s not that hard”.

This is why the days leading up to his return are always filled with dread. In the run up to his visit, friends and family say, “…you must be so excited! I bet you can’t wait to see him!” which is true. But behind those conversations, all I can think about is the terrifying hour (or 2, or 3) after his plane lands and whether or not he’ll make it past customs and out of the airport.

Unfortunately, just days before their sixth anniversary, David and Jason learned that Jason’s work visa petition had been denied. They spent their anniversary apart and have no idea when they’ll be able to see each other again.

In the meantime, they’re awaiting another decision: the Supreme Court’s verdict on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in June. Depending on how the nine Justices rule, binational same-sex couples like David and Jason will be able to spend their anniversaries together — and be entitled to over a thousand rights currently only to available to heterosexual couples.

For more info visit The DOMA Project.