Brandon Perlberg fled the United States to be with his boyfriend, Benn Robert Storey, who is British.

The couple's love affair started in New York, where Storey was working as a graphic designer on a temporary visa.

Unable to gain a green card based on his employment or on his spousal relationship, Storey, 31, was unable to remain in the United States.

In 2011, New York legalized marriage for gay and lesbian couples. But immigration law is based on federal statutes. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), gay Americans are not allowed to sponsor a spouse for citizenship.

Facing the prospect of being forced to split up, Perlberg reluctantly left his law firm, rented out his apartment and moved to London. He received a resident visa from Britain within 48 hours.

“Ultimately, we resolved that staying together was the most important thing for us,” Perlberg, 34, told The New York Times. “And the only way to guarantee that we got to stay together was by making this move.”

“It's very difficult as an American to have gone through all that and know that the country just pushed us out for being in love,” he added, “and being gay.”