Saturday, March 03, 2012
Please, a little common sense and social justice!
The reason for their predicament is the U.S. government's refusal to acknowledge their marriage, the inevitable result of the patchwork nature of Marriage Equality on a state-by-state basis, backed by DOMA that prevents Immigration & Naturalization from behaving logically and compassionately even it it wished to -- and there is evidence that some agents and branches would do so if they could. Frederic, it should be noted, has filed all the proper forms and documents for residence in the United States at all the proper times.
Mark's blog, Our Simple Lives . . . A Daddy, a Papa and Their Four Children http://www.oursimplelives.com/ has chronicled the the tension of the developing crisis as well as the joys of their developing family. Were a move of the entire family to France become necessary for the men to stay together, the status of their children might be uncertain; while France recognizes same sex couples it does not, at this time, recognize adoption for gays and lesbians. A relatively brief look through the last several months of Our Simple Lives will explain the basic problem, the appeals to the proper authorities and the denial of the latest attempt.
If you feel as I do, that this family needs to stay here, and that married same sex couples in real marriages, no matter the dismissive terms the anti-gay groups throw at them, should be allowed to remain together in this country the way bi-national heterosexual couples are, please consider sending your opinion and support to these officials:
Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.393 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, D.C. 20510P: 202-224-6324Toll Free: 866-802-2833Fax: 202-228-0604
Secretary Janet NapolitanoDepartment of Homeland SecurityU.S. Department of Homeland SecurityWashington, D.C. 20528202-282-8000
A personal note: as the gay father of two adopted daughters; as the grandson of a French woman who was a strong influence on my life; and as the husband of a wonderful man my daughters think of as a second father, Mark and Frederic's story and the family they created have resonated strongly with me ever since I found Mark's blog some while ago. I find it very easy to be happy when they have a great adventure out with the kids, concerned when the legal deadlines approach, frustrated and angry when their appeals are dismissed and denied. These are very real people. There may well be 36,999 more couples in the same situation, but Mark and Fred aren't statistics, and neither are the thousands of others. They're part of us and will benefit from our support.
When I was growing up, I always waited for The New Yorker to arrive at my grandmother's apartment. There were the music reviews, among the most literate and informative I've ever encountered, that fueled a pre-teen's growing love for opera and symphonic music. There was the Letter from Abroad that gave me valuable glimpses at foreign cultures and customs. But always the wonderful cartoons that commented with wit and insight on life, art, politics and social trends.
One of by favorite cartoonists was Saul Steinberg, an artist, really, not just a cartoonist. His New Yorker cover that satirized the Manhattanite geographical perception of the world has often been imitated in tribute.
But Steinberg was an artist whose line was disciplined, highly descriptive, with a minimum of carefully chosen detail and always delightful. There are books of his work. When my older daughter was in her teens, my aunt in New York asked her what she'd like to do on a trip she was taking to the City. Without hesitation, she said a visit to a gallery in Greenwich Village that was having a major Steinberg exhibit. The apple hadn't fallen far.
He died in 1999 and I've missed his wit and the eloquence of his drawings ever since. So I was struck recently to find another cartoonist, with a similar approach, although Charles Barsotti uses captions which weren't ever part of Steinberg's work.
A few years ago, we were having dinner with a lesbian couple who have been our friends forever. Anyway, they didn't understand why Fred simply couldn't stay since he's been here for such a long time. That's when it dawned on us that gay bi-national couples are such a minority, that even the Gay community doesn't understand our struggles.
Thank you for posting those addresses. My hope is that just one letter will reach the hearts of these people to help make a change. My children deserve much better.
Your Friend, m.
p.s. I would have written sooner but I spent 9 hours yesterday selling Girl Scout cookies at a local grocery store. After that, I had nothing left in me.
On the lighter side of the post, there isn't and never will be anything like The New Yorker, and The New Yorker cartoon. Especially fond of 'BEK' myself. Thanks!