Why Glenn Greenwald Can’t Live in the U.S.

The gay columnist who broke the story revealing NSA spying methods chooses not to live in the U.S. because his marriage isn’t recognized by the federal government.

BY Jase Peeples

June 11 2013 12:22 PM ET

The gay American columnist who broke the story revealing U.S. National Security Administration spying methods can’t even live in the country he’s from, according to CNN.

Glenn Greenwald currently resides in Brazil, where he moved to be with his husband because the U.S. government does not recognize same-sex marriage. He says this experience has allowed him to view the U.S. government with a more critical eye and informs the stories on which he reports.

“When you grow up with any kind of real challenge that forces you to evaluate your relationship to these conventions and the things that you’re taught … you start to question what that system is.” Greenwald told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “Is it really valid in the way that it’s rejecting me or is it the system itself that is corrupted? I think that lends itself to a much more critical eye that you end up casting upon things that you’re taught are indisputably true.”  

Out magazine interviewed Greenwald in 2011 about why he is forced to live in Brazil:

Given Greenwald's intellectual fecundity and argumentative ferocity, being gay may be the least interesting thing about him. But even Greenwald doesn't claim that his sexual orientation doesn't matter. After all, if he were straight he would be living in Manhattan, his home for most of the last 20 years. Instead, he lives in Rio de Janeiro, barred from moving to the United States with his Brazilian boyfriend, David Michael Miranda.

"Brazil recognizes our relationship for immigration purposes, while the government of my supposedly 'free,' liberty-loving country enacted a law explicitly barring such recognition," says Greenwald, referring to the Defense of Marriage Act with the disdain he typically shows for policies he believes are eroding Americans' freedoms. Greenwald's attacks on the powerful make him a tempting target for reprisals. So it's no surprise that, soon after he started blogging, critics sometimes tried to out him in a game of "gotcha." But what upset Greenwald was the implication that he had been closeted in the first place. "There was nothing to out," he says. "I've been as out as I can be since I was 20."

Watch CNN’s interview with Greenwald below. 

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