Congratulations Tim and Junior

Timothy Kincaid

June 4th, 2010

In 2005 Tim Coco, an American, and Genesio “Junior” Oliveira, a Brazilian, married in Massachusetts. But because some legislators value anti-gay discrimination more than they value civil rights or even the right of states to determine their own marriage laws, the federal government chose to ignore their legal marriage. In 2007 they were forcibly separated and Oliveira was sent back to his native Brazil.

Since that time Tim and Junior have been fighting to get Junior back to the states and have hit some bizarre roadblocks. At one point the immigration judge (who was later deemed to be a grossly unqualified political appointment) declared that Junior was not “physically harmed” by being raped in Brazil so he would grant no asylum.

But they also gained the support of Sen. John Kerry, who became an advocate for his cause. And while at first it appeared that the Obama administration was working against Tim and Junior, eventually US Attorney General Eric Holder, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano came to back them.

Now they have, for the moment, gained ground. (Globe)

On Wednesday, Oliveira returned to Massachusetts for an emotional reunion after federal immigration officials took the rare step of granting him permission to stay for one year on humanitarian grounds, clearing the way for him to try again for legal residency. His return followed personal appeals by Senator John F. Kerry, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on their behalf.

I am delighted for Tim and Junior. And I pray that they are able to find a way for Junior to stay permanently.

And I am appreciative to John Kerry for his tireless work.

“Here were two people who loved each other and were as committed to each other as you could ever imagine, and a quirk in the law was being allowed to keep them apart. I just wanted to do everything I could to reunite them,” he said in a statement.

But, though it is hard to imagine, there are some who fight to keep Tim and Junior apart.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, criticized the move, saying it seemed unfair to grant a special exception for Oliveira when so many others, such as earthquake survivors in Haiti, are clamoring to get into the country.

Don’t be fooled. Krikorian knows that this is a different situation. He fully knows that unlike Haitian earthquake survivors, Junior is married to an American – a situation that would immediately be cause to allow him to stay if he were heterosexual – Krikorian knows that because Junior is gay that his life in Brazil is subject to oppression and discrimination.

Krikorian sees the pain of their separation. He knows their devotion. He just doesn’t care.

It’s hard to fathom the kind of hatred that is required to intentionally separate spouses. It’s hard to understand the man who sees pain and applauds. It’s hard to look at statements like those of Krikorian and not see evil.

Tony P

June 4th, 2010

The only reason Kerry got involved is more likely than not to head off a federal challenge.

Joe in California

June 4th, 2010

All the more reason for Obama to repeal DMA (Defense of Marriage Act). In that way Junior would have no problem gaining residency as would any other married couple.

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