Have you been affected by DOMA?

March 12, 2011 at 8:18 am 32 comments

By Adam Bink

Courage Campaign is working on a very timely project involving DOMA and looking for couples who are married and have been negatively impacted by DOMA. If you are:

  • A legally married same-sex couple (whether married in California or elsewhere)
  • Currently residing in the state of California
  • Been together for 5 years or longer
  • Have a story of hardship because of DOMA (e.g., taxes, immigration)
  • Willing and comfortable speaking to the media
  • Available to travel next week

Drop me a quick line via adam@couragecampaign.org for more details. If you aren’t, but know of someone, that’ll help too. Thanks!

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Maryland Del. Hershey: Marriage vote brought to you by letters N-O-M Exactly how much will DOMA intervention cost?

32 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marlene  |  March 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Don’t forget… DOMA also impacts post-op transsexuals the state deems in a “same-sex” relationship.

    Talk to J’Noel Gardier and other couples who’ve had their marriages tossed by the courts because the judges claimed that “biology is destiny”.

    • 2. Tasty Salamanders  |  March 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      Actually this has been a thought that has been going through my head lately. I recall once reading on transsexual once writing that the gay rights movement had forgotten about them (or something along those lines). You can hardly blame them for thinking that when so much progress has happened for gays and lesbians in the public view but there has been little for them.

      Thus I feel it is necessary to understand why marriage equality is just as important to gays, lesbians and bisexuals as to transsexuals.
      If a person’s post-op gender isn’t recognised it effects their marriages.
      If a post-op person’s gender is recognised but they are also gay it effects their marriages.
      Anti-equality forces argue against proper government recognition of their gender because they claim that if a same-sex couple wants to get married one could simply change their gender (which is horribly homophobic and transphobic). Of course if marriage equality is allowed then it knocks down another barrier in the battle for proper recognition of their gender.

  • 3. Ed Cortes  |  March 12, 2011 at 8:41 am


    • 4. Ronnie  |  March 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm


  • 5. Sagesse  |  March 12, 2011 at 9:04 am

    What the heck. More e-mail.

  • 6. LCH  |  March 12, 2011 at 9:22 am


    • 7. JonT  |  March 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

  • 8. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 12, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Wish we could, but don’t meet all the requirements. DOMA has been affecting us since day one. Including the process of getting married.

  • 9. Ray in MA  |  March 12, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Except for the travel requirement, there may be 18000 peoplle who qualify and may be interested!

    • 10. Kate  |  March 12, 2011 at 10:15 am

      36,000! 18,000 couples…… Not counting any kids.

      • 11. Ray in MA  |  March 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm

        You got me on that one!!!! LOL!

    • 12. Cat  |  March 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

      Plus all the people married outside of California, and living in California! My spouse and I were married in The Netherlands before the dreadful date when Prop 8 passed, so we’re officially married in California too. We’ve managed to find solutions to problems that DOMA threw in our way (e.g. separate visa), but I strongly sympathize with couples who are truly affected by DOMA.

      • 13. Kathleen  |  March 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

        If you’ve had to find work-arounds for problems created by DOMA, then you’ve been affected by it; you’ve had to find solutions for problems that don’t even exist for os married couples.

        • 14. Cat  |  March 12, 2011 at 11:54 am

          Thanks. That’s true… I guess what I meant is that for us DOMA hasn’t resulted in the hardship that some couples are facing, for example a spouse who was or might be deported due to visa problems. That must be heart breaking.

          It’s true that things would have been simpler if DOMA had not existed at the time of our moving to the US. And although my wife’s prospects are good, it’s possible she won’t get the opportunity to stay, and her visa will run out. If that happens before DOMA is repealed or overruled, we’d have to move back to Europe (which we would).

  • 15. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 12, 2011 at 10:23 am

    To be honest, I wish those of us from other states could send DVD’s or videos to Adam for consideration, regardless of where we live or where we were married. Especially because I know several couples here in NC who are part of the 18K couples from the 2008 summer of marriage in California, because they went there on their anniversary trips specifically to get married!

    • 16. adambink  |  March 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

      Thanks Richard.

      We’re actually launching a project this month for which we’re collecting these nationwide stories.

      • 17. Rhie  |  March 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

        That’s cool. Are you going to be posting the stories from CA and elsewhere? I would love share them.

        • 18. adambink  |  March 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm


  • 19. Kathleen  |  March 12, 2011 at 10:24 am

  • 20. Sagesse  |  March 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Maryland and Rhode Island are like Egypt, don’t ya know?

    Maggie Gallagher Declares ‘Popular Insurrection’ Against Gay Marriage


    Click through to Equality Matters and listen.

    • 21. Rhie  |  March 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      They really are all about co-opting the language of civil rights and true populist uprisings aren’t they? Ugh.

  • 22. Kalbo  |  March 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

    We also don’t meet the stated criteria for this project, but clearly all us bi-national couple have the most harm; being forced apart is the cruelest part of DOMA. :-(

    • 23. adambink  |  March 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

      It is, in many ways.

      • 24. Lizeth Alejandra Conde  |  March 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm

        My fiancée and I weren’t able to marry before Prop 8 passed because of my legal status in the United States. I was in the process of becoming a resident through my mother and as bad as we wanted to get married, we knew we had to wait. On January of this year, I finally completed the immigration process and was approved. But now because of Prop 8 we cannot marry. I feel for those couples that have to go through this but they don’t have a way out. My heart goes out to them.

        • 25. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

          This means that you and your fiancee are also affected by DOMA, as are too many couples in the country.

  • 26. Rose  |  March 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    We have a DP (in CA), not a marriage. :(

    Which makes my financial aid for university rather confusing…. oy vey. “Single”, but filing jointly! XD

  • 27. elist  |  March 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Any DPs or married couples in California, Nevada, and Washington are spending more on getting their taxes done this year: http://turbotax.intuit.com/support/iq/You-and-Your-Family/New-IRS-Rules-for-Registered-Domestic-Partners-in-Some-Community-Property-States/GEN45613.html

  • 28. IT  |  March 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    We fit the criteria, but are fortunate– we both have good jobs with decent medical coverage, so we don’t have a heart breaker about healthcare. And complaining about tax unfairness, while true, is hardly likely to gain much sympathy.

  • 29. Papa Foma  |  March 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Sorry to double post this message, and off topic as well, but Felyx is flying from Moscow to JFK in New York tomorrow. He has an overnight stay before flying home to Raleigh.
    If any P8TTers are in New York, Felyx would love to have you make contact. He will be at the Days Inn jfk airport hotel 14426 153rd ct jamaica ny 1-800-311-4307 He’ll be there from about 4:30 Sunday overnight. Alas, he will not have Kevyn with him. We hope their reunion will be soon.

  • 30. Rowdy  |  March 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I wish we could. We’re married in California. We’ve been together for nearly 7 years; we were married in 2008, making us one of the “18,000 California Couples” (Can I trademark that?). We don’t own any property so our taxes are rather simple, but we are none the less affected. My husband is on my health plan, and the amount of my employer pays for my husband’s coverage is called “imputed” income for me and I get taxed on it. I don’t think heteros don’t go through that. We have to do multiple tax returns for the Fed which is a pain.

    Our work schedules (and budget…see above) don’t allow us to travel much, but we would certainly share our story.

  • 31. M S  |  March 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Same here– we fit all categories very neatly except for the “negatively affected by DOMA”.

    We’re both native-born citizens, so there’s no immigration problem, although I will say that back when we were going to grad school in Canada it was a constant insult to be treated differently by US Border/Customs agents than the Canadian Border Patrol. (Coming into Canada, we were considered a family and could therefore fill out one customs form for both of us. Coming into the US, our marriage wasn’t recognized, so even when we filled out a single form, they’d send us back to fill out separate forms.) We don’t live in Canada anymore, so that’s no longer an issue, and even at the time it was just an extra piece of paper– a small, bureaucratic irritant, not a major hardship. Obviously, it’s still a problem that straight married people don’t have to deal with bc the govt recognizes their marriages and not our marriages, but I still don’t think it helps the movement for us to look like whiners.

    Everybody has to deal with bureaucratic irritants– so as common a phenomenon as it may be for the international travelers/students among us, I don’t think it represents the strongest case we can make for the systematic injustice we are all trying to overcome by getting rid of DOMA. Imho, our community simply can’t afford to be caricatured as shallow or silly, much less hyperbolic and exaggerative, making mountains out of molehills. (“One whole extra piece of paper! Can you believe that? The environmental degradation forced upon us in the name of prejudice! Gahhh!”)

    In a similar vein, as I mentioned in a previous comment thread, TurboTax wouldn’t let us e-file bc we indicated that we are in a same-sex marriage. Not a big deal, just an inconvenience, and– according to the various people who answered that particular comment– it is probably an entirely temporary issue whose resolution is coming in the next few weeks. (i.e., it comes down to a worksheet that the IRS has not yet issued, so turbotax didn’t and couldn’t include it in the 2010 software when they went to press) So, again, DOMA has made my life more complicated in terms of taxes, but it’s not an unbearable burden. Nearly everybody hates doing their taxes and plenty of (non-gay) people have complicated returns. While it can certainly be a frustrating experience to do extra paperwork which we all know other people don’t have to do (mock federal returns in addition to the real ones, e.g.), filing singly at the federal level does not consistently or universally place gay couples at a significant financial disadvantage over filing jointly. In terms of how such concerns play in the media, that sort of thing looks like more of a Fix The Stupid Tax Code problem than a civil rights issue.

    All that to say: I wish I could help, but I don’t think our family’s particular situation is the best candidate. Then again, maybe I’m reading Adam’s intentions for this project incorrectly? How big of an impact does DOMA have to have on us for it to– ahem– “count”?

  • 32. Scott Godgluck  |  March 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Why the 5 year criteria? My husband and I were married in South Africa last fall and have been together for a total of just over 2 years now. If he could move here he would but since he can’t I’m am making the move to Cape Town. Hopefully things will workout for me career wise when I get there. Cape Town is a beautiful place but opportunities are limited though improving. It would be much easier if he could come here where I have a place to live and a job already that could support us both until he was able to find work, but HELL NO! US of A! A relatively new democracy like South Africa can realize that freedom belongs to everyone and civil rights apply to all but not America!


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