READ: Open Letter to Obama From Exiled Binational Couples in South Africa
BY Sunnivie Brydum
May 26 2013 1:50 PM ET
Several binational gay and lesbian couples now living in South Africa penned a scathing open letter to President Obama Saturday, asking the commander-in-chief for an explanation as to why his administration advised Senate Democrats to drop an LGBT-inclusive amendment from the pending immigration reform bill.
Democrats on the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" committee debating the bill last week said they believed Republican threats to filibuster the sweeping immigration reform bill if it included protections for Americans married to someone of the same sex.
Dan Brotman, a gay man originally from Lexington, Mass., reached out to The Advocate to share the open letter he and several other binational LGBT couples living in South Africa wrote demanding answers from the President. South Africa was the fifth country worldwide, and the first nation in Africa, to legalize same-sex marriages when it enacted the Civil Union Act in 2006.
Asking for a meeting with Obama when he visits South Africa next month, Brotman and his allies want the President "to meet couples whose futures now solely depend on the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA, and whom your administration traded as a bargaining chip for political expediency."
Brotman writes that Obama and congressional Democrats "caved into bigotry," by asking Leahy to rescind an amendment he proposed that would essentially carve out an exemption to DOMA and allow legally married binational couples to sponsor their foreign-born spouses for citizenship the same way heterosexual Americans can.
Read the complete open letter on the next page.