Brandon Perlberg, who fled the United
States to be with his partner Benn Storey in Britain, says the U.S.
took away their lives.
The couple met in New York as Storey
worked 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, could not
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.
Perlberg left his law firm, rented out
his apartment and said goodbye to friends and family to live with
Benn in Britain, where he receive a resident visa within 48 hours.
In an appearance on CNN, Perlberg, 34,
said that being uprooted has left him resentful of his country.
“I'm conflicted,” Perlberg said.
“On the one hand, I love my country. And I've never felt more
personally attached and involved in its future as I do right now. …
At the same time, I cannot shake this feeling of resentment that I
have that our lives were taken away from us.”
“Because of the Defense of Marriage
Act, DOMA, I was unable to marry Benn and sponsor him for a green
card. So, the way that I look at it, in the name of the Defense of
Marriage we were forced to give up everything: Our home, our careers,
our proximity to friends and family. All of that. And start a new
life over here because we dared to put our relationship first.
Because we said, 'No that means more to us than anything else.'”
“And the great irony is that that
value is the very thing that makes the defense of marriage
worthwhile. So what a stupid law.” (The video is embedded on this
our video library for more videos.)