How We Got Netted by D.O.M.A:
1. We did not “win the lottery” with lawsuit settlement (in the least!)
2. Sam and I did not get married to “keep him in the country.”
3. We were misled by a fraudulent lawyer for over 2.5 years.
Now that those misconceptions are cleared up…This is what happens when you FOLLOW THE LAW- you lose. Those that do not, seem to win out….
Since our news story on Friday, a lot of questions have come up, which is very understandable. How we wound up in a unique situation that people perceive we wanted to be “activist” poster boys for DOMA and Immigration Reform, who won a lot of money, is as complex to explain and absurd as the perception itself (in any capacity). When the scope of absurd discrimination was realized; when we “lost”, we were left with no option but to “go public” and fight for a basic right to just live together.
Below is the best job (many prior attempts) that we could do of a TIMELINE SUMMARY of how our future together is being decided upon – down to a matter of hours. We have linked the events as best we could (most BLUE text should work as links) to relevant webpages on either our original website [TheUglyBirdhouse.net] and/or online links and posts we started on this BLogsite [UglyBirdhouse.net], as well as YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr.
- September 2008 Sam and Gary meet
- July 2009 Sam comes to U.S. for visit
- Christmas 2009 Sam and Gary decide to “date”.
- May 2010 Investigate legal options available for us to take relationship “further. (We were aware and knew can we could not legally reside together because of D.O.M.A. A solution was available for us to pursue and see about our relationship being more than visits and so we can see about a life-long commitment under best circumstances possible).
- June 2010 Meet with Immigration Attorney to transfer Sam’s business here. Required opening bank account here (Sam deposits $30,000), LLC fee and Business entity taxes paid (from 2010-present by Gary)
- September 2010 Immigration lawyer says all Application process submissions done. Will be approximately 3-6 months given delay in Immigration applications due to budget cuts.
- November 2010 Sam sells house; belonging sealed by shipping company and UK customs for Business visa. (He is STILL without his belongings due to fraudulent lawyer). Travels to/from UK every 2 to 3 months to never violate visa status.
- January 2011 Lawyer update: government requesting more financial investments and proof of business investment and stability.
- July 2011 Decide to get married (for emotional aspects for us alone. one witness only will know) Ask lawyer and given OK with delay of business visa
- September 2011 Gary’s father passes away (on original scheduled wedding day)
November 2011: Decide to reschedule and get married.
January 2012: More request from government for business stability
June 2012: Immigration attorney says interview being arranged for September in London
July 2012: England recognizes CT Marriage license and issues us equivalent U.K. Registry.
August 2012: Sam’s father suffers stroke.
October 2012 Gary’s Mom and 2 sisters travel with him to UK to meet Sam and his extended family. Gary and Sam travel to see Sam’s father who could not travel to London.
October 2012: Gary arrives home and discovers lawyer, is simply put, A FRAUD (link is sample of past damage to previous clients. Her history is frightening).
How could we have not known? All suspensions coincide with delay excuses for 2.5 years.
October 2012: Sam come to U.S. and customs say they believe he has been working here illegally, not waiting for business visa. He is told he will not be allowed to return for 10 years.
October 2012: New Immigration attorney makes formal request for all documents from previous attorney. Sam is unable to apply for business visa that was never filed (She does not comply until December, with faked documents).
- October 2012 Windsor v. Unites States; by 2nd Fed Court of appeals rules D.O.M.A. is Un-Constitutional. Court case is moved to Supreme Court for June 2013 Decision. No “Stay” was put on the case at time, meaning all with similar requirements who reside within the 2nd Fed. Court District, are eligible: the Fed. Government must recognize CT marriage and Gary is entitled to sponsor Sam as his spouse to live in the United States while case is moved to the Supreme Court of the United States for June.
- October 2012: Submit Green Card Application. During process, Sam should be granted all documents to work and remain legally (social security to pay taxes, driver’s license, etc). We ask family and friends to write needed letters supporting proof that Sam and I are in a real relationship; their knowledge of us and time spent together, etc. We collect letters, photos, proof of time known, etc. (READING THEM NOW, THEY MAKE US FEEL AS IF THEY ARE EULOGIES BEING READ AT THE FUNERAL OF OUR FUTURE TOGETHER IN THE UNITED STATES)
Now starts the time to… “Join US on the DOMA & USCIS roller-coaster ride!”
GENERAL IMMIGRATION PROCESS TIMELINE (NOV. 2012 to TODAY?)
November 20th, 2012: USCIS send letter with biometrics appointment for Sam
December 5th 2012: APPLICATION DENIED
December 2012: USCIS Deferred Action Request. Staying past three months is violation of Sam’s visitor visa. Read our “Hardship Letters” for this part of the process.
You can read Sam’s letter by clicking HERE
You can read Gary’s letter by clicking HERE
January 2013: 2nd Application for Green Card
January 2013: USCIS send letter with biometrics appointment for Sam
January 2012 : 2nd APPLICATION DENIED
February 2013: USCIS Board of Immigration Appeal filed. This is to request the Green Card Application be held in abeyance pending ruling on D.O.M.A. in June. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sends letter requesting our application petition be held in abeyance to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
March 2013: DEFERRED ACTION APPLICATION DENIED . Discretionary decision by USCIS however we do not hold them responsible, they do not make the laws. If I remember correctly, the President said he would “not defend D.O.M.A” ? The President, however, has not enforced this policy.
Sam started accruing “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT” status on March 29 2013.
In this process we have encountered couples who were granted the rights we were denied twice (driver’s license, right to work, travel, etc). One couple we know even got their green-card interview. Why ours denied twice? No idea.
February 2013 Launch TheUglyBirdhouse.net website site to “provide USCIS easy access to the legitimacy of US” for our Spousal Petition.
March 2013 Launch BLogsite to keep family updated on status (YouTube, Twitter).
April 2013 : Meet with Senators and Members of Congress to request inclusion of us in Immigration reform package. (Conservative pressure was specific that there be no inclusion of gay families in reform -or they would not allow Reform package to move forward to Congress.)
April 2013: We are Featured in Huntington Post and Washington Blade
23 May 2013: Immigration inclusion is removed and simply put, 35,000 American citizens were denied the right to just sponsor a partner just to live with them so that the Immigration Bill could move forward to Congress; essentially rights will be given to 4 million Illegal residents, not to law-abiding ones.
20 May 2103 Malpractice Lawsuit Agreement and PJR Accepted Superior Court, Danbury, CT.
31 May 2013 Thank You Video to Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
3 June 2013 Best Birthday Gift Ever Received
14 June 2013: Press release regarding Malpractice Settlement
14 June 2013: Best Timed student gift
17 June 2013: Our Statement about Lawsuit and current situation caused by it. (eg: Sam still does not have his belongs and access to what is left of his money in the local bank, unable to apply for any other visa, and all we did was follow the laws).
22 June 2012: New article on US featured in: Journal News (NY) and USAToday.com
Gary still can not sponsor Sam because the U.S. government does not recognize us as legal souses -or him as a family member. However, under current laws, Gary can sponsor a distant relative to live with him (one he may not even know) or under certain circumstances, someone from a 3rd world nation not even family or related. He can sponsor people he has no direct connection with…But NOT his legal spouse in the U.S. state of Connecticut- and ironically-recognized by the government of England, U.K. Despite being defrauded, the two applications denied, “not defending D.O.M.A”, a discretionary request for Sam not to be considered an “illegal immigrant” denied, we are still going strong.
Sam has not been able to work. he has been literally sitting and waiting for what is now, almost 3 years. He even had staff ready to hire. He is not able to leave the country and visit his family or father.
Our fight began for just the right to live together. It is not about Marriage Equality (per say) but basic human civil rights for Immigration that are denied solely based on discrimination. Illegal Residents have more rights than American citizens. Does that sound right to you? We want equality for all, but shouldn’t a citizen come first?
There are 3 WAYS THE COURT MAY RULE: Excellent NY Times Graphic
If D.O.M.A. is NOT struck down, Gary will lose right to live with Sam and will have to move to England to remain with him.
STILL CONFUSED? YES, THAT’S NORMAL. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SUM UP. Need more help? Read links below:
Read Previous Blog Posts (Archives)
Watch some of our YouTube Videos
And all that info above is why we say, one last time before our families future is decided in matter of days, Are we the only one’s who find this ironic…that American’s have to flee TO England to avoid social and religious persecution?!
PS: Should D.O.M.A be struck down, we will have to pursue legal recourse for Sam being considered an illegal immigrant and accruing violation time when HE (and we) never broke the law!
Please do not forget, we are not alone in this Immigration issue. There are many others out there with just as many difficulties as we have faced.
Hey both, what a catalogue of f***tardery! I have everything crossed for the DOMA ruling. I really hope you don’t have to come live over in Blighty (though selfishly, it will be fantastic to see you again if that happens). XXXX
Fantastic job. Ok, just reading what you two went through and the fact that you’re STILL married (I LOVE saying “married”, “husband and husband” and all the other legal terms that drive the ignorant haters crazy) says so much for same sex married people. So many others would have caved such a long time ago.