Family Being Ripped Apart Because it’s a Gay Marriage??

It’s Friday and I had planned on a funny post but I simply must write about my friend Mark. Mark is an amazing man who blogs over at Our Simple Lives, he’s a father, husband, photographer and one of the funniest writers I’ve seen. Mark gives his whole heart to the world, he blogs about his life and shares openly about his whole beautiful self.

With my blog here at Sober Julie Doing Life I have a voice, I have an ability to reach out from my little laptop to your eyes and minds. I ask that you have an open mind here while you read this post, frankly I don’t care about your religious beliefs, your cultural or political slants…..I’m asking you to consider my friend Mark’s situation from a logical point of view and ask yourself if this makes any bloody sense at all.

Is it right that a family should be ripped apart because it’s a gay marriage?

If you are about to answer yes, I again ask you to open your mind….

Our Simple LIves

Mark is married to Fred, they’ve been married for 4 years and together for over 21 years. This is no fly by night union, they have adopted 4 amazing children together and were living the American dream. This was until September when Fred’s last visa ran out. Fred is a citizen of France and up until now Mark had the ability to sponsor Fred for visa’s to remain in the US. Unfortunately the US doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages under the Defense of Marriage Act and Fred is facing being deported.


  • Mark and Fred were married in California where their marriage was legal at the time
  • Fred is fully employed and has been for years in the US
  • Mark and Fred adopted these 4 children together in the US
  • A loving, stable family exists, living together in the US
  • The US government cannot recognize same-sex marriages for the purposes of immigration at this time
  • Mark’s last application to sponsor Fred for a visa to remain in the US has been DENIED

Last year the Department of Homeland Security gave immigration authorities the discretion to stay deportations based on “The person’s ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships.”

For some unknown reason immigration authorities aren’t using this discretion in Mark and Fred’s case contrary to all of the evidence provided.

This is a travesty to see a family being ripped apart when it’s utterly senseless.

What can we do? What can I do as a non-resident?

We can use our voices!

We can write to Senator Bob Casey and Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano urging them to reconsider staying Fred’s deportation. If you live in Pennsylvania, you can write to Senator Casey’s office. Both, on their behalf. You can let them know that you read the story on or that you know of Mark & Fred’s story from here.

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
393 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
P: 202-224-6324
Toll Free: 866-802-2833
Fax: 202-228-0604
Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

I implore my readers to ask themselves if it makes sense to rip apart a stable couple, to uproot a loving family and tear them apart?


We need bold leadership to create remedies that keep all families together. Fred and Mark’s four children, John, Claire, Jacob and Joshua, deserve no less!

If you’d like to give them words of encouragement, please head on over to Our Simple Lives or Mark’s Facebook page, lift this beautiful man up!


Share this Post

You Might Also Like

If you’re anything like myself, you find that there just aren’t enough hours in a day. This shouldn’t...

We have a plethora of tools in our home, I’m quite proud to say that I’ve mastered all...

This year Walmart announced their first ever Mom of the Year contest and the response has been amazing!...

When given the choice of where to eat our kids will always scream they want to go to...

42 Responses

  1. Just wondering, if Fred has been working, can’t his employer sponsor him for a visa? Is it possible for Fred to apply for US citizenship?

    1. Hi Fidiya! Fred had a work visa that expired in 2004. His employer did not sponsor him for a green card because they found out he was Gay. Therefore, he got a student visa which has carried him this far. As a full time student, he was allowed to teach part time at his college. He’s been doing that for about two years now. With my app for a Green-card, he was granted a work “permit” which allows him to work.
      Thanks for asking and thanks for caring. mark

  2. What a tricky and sad situation. I think the headline is bit much, they’re not being torn apart because of their same sex relationship, they’re being torn apart because the immigration laws are ridiculously outdated. I hope this comes to a happy ending with their family together.

      1. Julie, thank you for all of this and Cat Davis, thank you for your input. It is 100% because our marriage isn’t recognized legally that we are in this situation. I know that because the letter that we received from USCIS indicated that we are being denied because of DOMA. Yes, the Immigration system, as a whole, needs to be fixed too. So many illegals being pardoned. I sometimes wish that Fred sneaked in the country in the first place.
        Thanks! m.

  3. That is total BS. 100% complete and total utter BS. He sounds like a man that is hard working, caring and a contributing member to society. Yet they are going to tear him away from his family? Political BS

  4. Oh my goodness! :( This post made me cry. This is so, so, so very sad. I am sending positive thoughts Mark’s way and hoping for a very happy ending. Thank you for sharing this with us, Julie.

  5. anger isn’t really even the word here, this is just beyond ignorance! Isn’t there anyone else who can sponsor him? can he apply for citizenship? There has to be some way for this to work. Will the whole family move with him?

  6. UNREAL!! This country seems to constantly be threatened by love, regardless of it’s form, and it’s disgusting. I have shared this post on my twitter and facebook, and plan to help as much as I can.

    I would love to remind everyone that there was a time when interracial and mixed religion marriages weren’t allowed either.

    Equality and love.

    1. Marcie, thank you. My parents never married. However, if the had wanted to, they could not have when I was conceived in 1967. Good point!

  7. Unreal. The fact that they were legally married before the law was reversed means feels like this is a take back! You know who I would write… Ellen.

  8. I saw their story on CNN and was baffled that they’d even consider splitting up a family because of their idiotic laws that gay marriage is not recognized. Who cares if it is or isn’t. They have a family together. They’ve lived in the US for years. They’ve paid their taxes. They’ve done everything right, and they are being punished because some government official is on their high horse.

    So sorry that Mark & his family are having to deal with such a travesty. They do not deserve this one bit and I hope the government makes the right decision.

  9. This is appalling to me. There are traditional couples in this country that absolutely should be torn apart and are in volatile relationships and are bad parents. These two great men are in a long tern happy marriage with a loving family and they are faced with being torn apart because our immigration service refuses to give them the same rights as a straight couple. I can’t believe this could really happen.

  10. I think if the state of California did at one point recognize them as “married” then he should be allowed to stay. But unfortunately this is our governement. They sure do have an ass backwards way of doing things! However I must ask has he ever filed to become a US citizen?

    Hopefully things work out and he’s allowed to stay.

    1. Thanks Paula! By the way, that was my Sister’s name. So I love it!
      What’s funny is that the State of PA legally allowed us to adopt children out of Foster Care. Now, the Federal government wants to ruin all of that.
      Thank you!

  11. This is inhumane to say the least. So much for a country that prides itself on “family values.” There is no right in this whatsoever.

  12. This story makes me angry, they are doing the right thing when so many people do it the wrong way. I hope the government decides to let this family stay together.

  13. I can;t understand this. I dislike what is going on to these too people. Gay or not, what if the 2 of them were brothers, or just room mates. I think the Government forgot there are children involved. It isn’t just 2 guys who want to be together, they are parents. Apparently you can get a kid here but can’t stay. Oh but we can keep some people here who aren’t doing it the right way and we’ll even give them money, public assistance and free stuff…how about a house too… I hope he gets to stay, sounds like an honest family and I pray they make it though this.

  14. I made sure to tweet his post, AND tweet to @TheEllenShow ! I think it’s a great idea to try to bring this to Ellen’s attention, I wonder who else in the media we could bring this to for some attention? Since they were featured on CNN, that should have some clout!

    I just find this whole ordeal ridiculous… you are a FAMILY and Fred has been here for so long! And you have been able to adopt four children together… so… I don’t get the disconnect between being able to do that, and being able to become a citizen or get a VISA or whatever you do to stay in a country? It’s all mind-boggling to me…

    I mean, c’mon, it’s freaking 2012… can’t the United States grow a pair and just get over the whole “not recognizing gay marriage” bullsh*t?????

  15. What I don’t understand is that if he has children in the US who are US citizens, why can’t he stay with them? Would the children be allowed to live in France with him?

    Also, Mark sponsored Fred’s visa. Couldn’t Mark have gotten US citizenship during this time frame? (I know I have friends who have gotten citizenship…. but not sure how it’s done overall.)

  16. Good morning. Thank you all very much for your love and support.
    Time is on our side and all this will change in a couple of years. I’m thinking that the President doesn’t want to tackle anymore hot topics until he’s reelected. Not thrilled about that since Families are being ripped apart, but really, that’s how it is.
    We will be alright. I just feel it in my bones.
    And my love to my friend Julie who did this for us. If you don’t know, Julie and I have already signed a marriage contract between her daughter and one of my signs. I was going to give her my least favorite but after today, it’s her choice. ha!
    Thank you all!

  17. This kind of stuff pisses me off. My heart is with you and your family Mark. I wish you all the best and hope something can be done to stop this. I think tweeting this post at @TheEllenShow is a fabulous idea and have done so to get the word out to her! Maybe posting this on her Facebook wall might help too! xo Tasha

  18. This is ridiculous. Love is love. I can’t believe how ignorant people still are. Julie, what a great friend you are to help spread the word of their situation. Mark, I hope that everything turns out for the best for you and your family and I do hope that this reaches Ellen and I’ll be tweeting to help out so that it does.

  19. My mom was American and my Dad and I are English – we moved to the US when I was 6. I can really imagine how devastating it would have been if my parents hadn’t been allowed to get married and live in the same country. Here’s a really crazy suggestion – since Fred is a French citizen, he is entitled to live in any country that is a member of the EU. From what I understand, The Netherlands recognizes same-sex marriage, so I’m wondering if Fred could move there and then have you and your children apply for Dutch residency? When my parents were dating, my American mom was able to apply for UK residency so she could move to England and marry my dad. I have no idea how Dutch immigration law compares, but if they recognize same-sex marriage as the same as heterosexual partnerships, it seems like it should be possible – even more so since you guys have children. Not that I think you guys should HAVE to uproot your lives like that, but if the worst comes to worst, it might be a way to at least keep your family together until US laws change.

    Oh! And I have one more suggestion! You should contact columnist Dan Savage with your story if he is not already aware of it:
    If you’re not familiar with him, he is a very popular advice columnist and campaigns tirelessly to bring attention to LGBT rights issues, and his readers listen. If you want to draw attention to this and get more lots more people writing letters, he is THE MAN to do it. (Apologies for the redundancy if you’ve already done this, I’m an avid reader of Savage Love but he’s so prolific I can’t keep up with all his blog posts to know what he’s covered or not, LOL!)

    Good luck!!!

  20. Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *