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Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law

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The horrors that thousands of lesbian and gay couples face are detailed in this moving political and personal story of immigration and love. As Judy and Karin’s legal battles reveal, when only one half of a gay couple is an American citizen, immigration struggles are confounded by the fact that the partners cannot legally marry in most parts of the United States. With resources that outline which organizations can help and what the challenges and the realities of this situation are, this reference reaches out to ...

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First Good [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Findhorn Press Pub Date: 4/1/2011 Binding: Paperback Pages: 256.

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Overview

The horrors that thousands of lesbian and gay couples face are detailed in this moving political and personal story of immigration and love. As Judy and Karin’s legal battles reveal, when only one half of a gay couple is an American citizen, immigration struggles are confounded by the fact that the partners cannot legally marry in most parts of the United States. With resources that outline which organizations can help and what the challenges and the realities of this situation are, this reference reaches out to couples, their friends and family, and anyone interested in assisting by offering advice and camaraderie on this subset of the gay marriage issue. Royalties from the book, which is published in association with Immigration Equality and Out4Immigration, go to groups working to overcome immigration denial for gay couples.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Defense of Marriage Act and other federal legislation have forced Rickard and her British partner, Karin, to live much of their lives apart. Rickard collected stories from some of the other 36,000 LGBT couples, in which one partner is an immigrant, forced into itinerancy and convoluted living arrangements to abide by immigration requirements that don’t recognize their relationships, such as resettling in a more tolerant country where neither member originates, enduring constant fear of seeing their undocumented partner deported, or opting for a sham citizenship marriage with a member of the opposite sex. Rickard recounts the byzantine hoops through which she and Karin jump, including savings-draining trips abroad every six months to keep in compliance with Karin’s visa. Their story demonstrates the strain these laws take on couples and the families they are forced to leave behind much of the year. Rickard puts a human face on a political issue and offers actionable steps for her readers: encouraging them to support the United American Families Act and contact their congressmen or women. (May)
From the Publisher

"Rickard puts a human face on a political issue and offers actionable steps for her readers: encouraging them to support the United American Families Act and contact their congressmen or women." —Publisher's Weekly (March 28, 2011)

"[In Torn Apart] you’ll meet people willing to fight for their relationships, expatriate themselves for their relationships, and bankrupt themselves for their relationships. This book is really a collection of love stories, detailing the lengths people are willing to go to in order to preserve our families." —Angel Curtis, OutSmart Magazine (April 2011)

"Incredible tales of 'Rube Goldberg' type arrangements by American citizens simply to be able to stay with their foreign partner . . . readable and important. . . . The stories are the power and she doesn't dilute them." —www.DavidMixner.com

"A compelling wake-up call . . . inspiring, often sad, even infuriating, tales of same-sex couples caught in the machinations of antiquated U.S. immigration policy . . . chockfull of ideas for how to help." —Windy City Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844095483
  • Publisher: Findhorn Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy Rickard has worked in positions to promote civil rights for nearly 40 years as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activist. She served on her region’s LGBT political action board for 15 years, diversity committees for two San Jose mayors, and various Santa Clara civil and human rights committees. She also has worked with multiple San Jose University presidents on diversity issues and educated political candidates and elected officials on LGBT topics. She lives in San Jose, California. Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

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Table of Contents

Mea Culpa in Advance 8

Dedications 9

Foreword Elizabeth Gilbert 12

Preface 17

Part I Judy And Karin

1 Nearly Naked on the Train to Paris 27

2 America vs. Same-Sex Binational Couples 29

3 American Laws Ignore Us 31

4 Families Unvalued 33

5 So Who Are Judy and Karin? 35

6 From Cyberspace to Oregon 41

7 Committing to Each Other 45

8 Why You Should Care About Our Story 49

9 Our Airport Scare with ICE 53

10 Karin's Long Goodbye 57

11 Fast Forward to Another Sad Airport Goodbye for Judy and Karin 59

Part II Stories Of Other Same-Sex Binational Couples

12 Yo-Yo Geography Philippa Inger 65

13 I'm in One Country, He's in Another-For a Year Chad Tim 71

14 Her Work Visa Keeps Us Together in America Kathy Viki 79

15 Special Legislation Keeps Two Moms and Their Sons Together-For Now Shirley Jay 87

16 We Are Contemporary Nomdas Thomas Tony 93

17 I Got a Work Transfer So We Can Live in Neither of Our Countries Gordon Renato 99

18 Lost the Job, Lost the Welcome-Canada, Here We Come Steve Joey 105

19 We Met in The Netherlands and Now We Live There Together Martha Lin 111

20 Working on a Humanitarian Parole to Be Together Again in America Aurelio Roi 127

21 Asylum Means We Can Stay Together in America Leslie Marta 133

22 Only His Work Visa Keeps us Together in America Carmen Aster 147

23 His Green Card Keeps Us Together in America and Lets Him Travel When Needed Mickey Amos 155

24 His Visa Keeps Us Together in America, But He Can't Travel Home Yet Matt Michael 159

25 Race Against Time-Legislation or New Visa Erwin John 165

26 Dual Citizenship Hurts and Helps Same-Sex Binational Couples 169

27 Risky Behavior-Having a Partner Who is Illegal or Undocumented Neal Fernando 173

28 Marriage To Someone of the Opposite Gender Keeps Us Together in America 181

29 We Couldn't Survive As a Couple-U.S. Laws Tore Us Apart Julia Jo 183

30 We Couldn't Become a Couple Because of U.S. Laws David Karl 187

Part III Background And Resources

31 Proposed Legislation for Immigration Reform for Us: Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) Seeks Immigration Reform for Same-Sex Binational Couples 190

32 Proposed Legislation for Immigration Reform That Includes UAFA: Reuniting Families Act (RFA) 194

33 Proposed Legislation for Immigration Reform That Includes UAFA: Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) Act of 2010 197

34 What You Can Do to Help 203

35 Resource Groups and Websites 207

36 Media, Websites, and Sources 220

37 Pertinent Definitions and Information 254

38 Acknowledgments 266

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring stories of couples separated by archaic law

    Thousands of same-sex binational couples are kept apart by U.S. immigration policies that don't just fail to recognize that two people of the same gender can have a positive, fulfilling and committed relationship, but actually target the non-citizen half of such couples as a security risk. Despite the work of activist groups such as Immigration Equality, Love Exiles and Out4Immigration, and numerous attempts by understanding elected representatives to push through legislation to eliminate this unfair policy, many couples have left the US to live in other countries, or to live nomadic lives traveling to a variety of countries, in order to avoid being split up.

    The book begins with a forward by Elizabeth Gilbert, celebrated author of "Eat, Pray, Love," who is happily married to a man from Brazil. She points out the hypocrisy that they never had a problem being together, since immigration law allows citizens to bring in their fiancés, citizens or not. The fact that same sex couples are denied similar treatment, simply because we don't have the option to marry under federal law, has made her an activist for a change in policy to eliminate this blatant discrimination, and inspired the author to tell her story.

    Judy Rickard and her partner Karin, a British citizen, have endured long separations and taken trips simply to be together as much as possible. She also introduces us to over a dozen additional couples with similar (and worse) stories, with tales of their partner being dragged from their home in the middle of the night, of forced, immediate deportations, living in exile to avoid prosecution, having to pay thousands in legal fees while fighting life-threatening illnesses, The book covers idiosyncrasies in existing rules for "green cards", student and work visas, binational citizenships, and humanitarian visas that work against same-sex couples. And it discusses how such couples may choose to arrange "sham" marriages to opposite sex partners, just to get the opportunity to be in the same country together.

    It's a powerful indictment of a legislative policy, formed in the name of homeland security that is running amuck and violating the basic rights of thousands of Americans. The book includes an extensive appendix of research sources, applicable legislative cites, proposed laws, and things you can do to help. All royalties from the book are being donated to lobbying groups involved in the effort. Not an easy read, but an important one. Five stars out of five.

    - Bob Lind, Echo Magazine

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