Binational married lesbians denied US entry

Alaskan couple

Shawn (left) and Jocelyn. (Photo: Maggie Parker)

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I met Jocelyn and Shawn when they were a few of the couples who braved the chilly December morning to wait in line for a marriage license in Washington State on December 6, 2012. They headed to Mexico, Jocelyn’s home country, to celebrate their honeymoon.Their dreams were shattered, however, when Jocelyn was stopped by Customs and denied entry into the US. Although she had a valid tourist visa, her new marriage license was actually preventing her from entering the US.

According to Derek Tripp from The DOMA Project, a legal advocacy group, essentially what DOMA does to same-sex couples is that it won’t recognize their relationships enough to grant them the same kind of access heterosexual couples would have to bring a spouse into the country, but it will use the information to penalize them. In this case, they see that Jocelyn is not simply a tourist looking to visit this country, but that her intent is to establish residency here with her partner. There are currently no legal ways for a same-sex couple to sponsor a partner for a green card, the way an opposite sex couple could. Here’s the story of what happened to Shawn and Jocelyn and what you can do to help.

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