DOMA Couples

 

Dwayne D. Beebe and Jonathan Franqui

Navy Senior Chief Dwayne D. Beebe and Jonathan Franqui have fallen in love and committed their lives together - they were excited to get their marriage license in Maryland, and they look forward to their ceremony in Florida. But their marriage deserves legal respect - respect that cannot happen until all couples have the freedom to marry, and until DOMA is overturned once and for all. Read More about Jonathan and Dwayne.

 

Jamelle and Karane Thomas-Williams

Although they legally married in Washington, D.C. in October 2012, Jamelle and Karane's marriage is not respected by the federal government. Jamelle said that it’s upsetting that as a service member, she has to jump through many hoops just to take care of her wife, Karane. She worries about health insurance for their future child and how to ensure that their wills are properly handled. Read More about Jamelle and Karane.

 

Ashley Broadway and Heather Mack

Throughout all of their trials - as a same-sex military couple living under DADT, as a same-sex couple in the South, and as a same-sex couple standing up against the insecurities that DOMA causes their family - Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack and her wife Ashley Broadway have continually found strength in each other. Here, they share their story of feeling insecure in a pre-DADT world, and how even after the repeal of the anti-gay policy, they still feel insecure because of DOMA. Read More about Ashley and Heather.

Juka Mendes and Jonathan Malumay

When Juka Mendes moved to the US on a student visa from Portugal, he never expected to fall in love. But he did, and got married to Air Force member Jonathan Malumay. Now, Juka can no longer afford his education, and in April, his visa will expire. His husband cannot sponsor him for immigration purposes because of DOMA. As a service member, Jonathan is eligible for the G.I. Bill, an education grant that he should be able to transfer to his husband - but again, because DOMA does not respect his marriage, he cannot do so. Read More about Juka and Jonathan.

Nathalie Gaulthier and Hope Hall

Nathalie Gaulthier is a Canadian citizen, but she has lived in the United States for 17 years. She owns an internationally renowned circus arts school in Culver City, California. She pays taxes to California and the United States. She has been in a loving and committed relationship with her American fiancée for six years. And in spite of all that, Nathalie is continually denied her green card, making her a permanent guest in the country she calls home. That's because Nathalie's fiancée is a woman, Hope Hall, an American citizen and military veteran. Read More about Nathalie and Hope.

Ron Wallen and Tom Carrollo

Ron and Tom, both veterans, married in California in 2008 before the freedom to marry was stripped away by Proposition 8. Tom’s death on March 8, 2011 left Ron without income, apart from his $900/month social security check. While grieving the loss of his husband, Ron fought for access to Social Security Survivor's Benefits that were withheld from him by the federal government. Surviving spouses are entitled to the higher of either their own Social Security payment or their deceased spouse’s. This $900 shortfall may cost Ron his home. Read More about Ron and Tom.

Cristina Ojeda and Monica Alcota

Christina, an American citizen, and Monica, an Argentinean national, met several years ago when Christina was in school studying social work. The couple were married in Connecticut. Now Christina, a social worker, and Monica, an antique furniture restorer, reside in Queens and face the threat of being torn apart because the DOMA bars the federal government from honoring their marriage for the purposes of immigration. Read More about Cristina and Monica. 

 

Stephen Hill and Joshua Snyder

During a GOP debate in 2011, Army Captain Stephen Hill was booed for asking a question about the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' But the debate wasn't the only time Captain Hill has faced objection to his sexuality: For the past year, he and his husband, Joshua Snyder, have seen their marriage be disrespected and undervalued by the federal government. The couple married last year in Washington, D.C., but because of DOMA, their relationship is not respected by the federal government. Read More about Josh and Steve.

 

Charlie and Karen Morgan

CW2 Charlie Morgan recently returned from a deployment in Kuwait, and she is now battling incurable stage-four breast cancer. Should she not survive, her wife would be unable to access any of the survivor benefits that she would need to take care of their five-year-old daughter. Same-sex couples like Charlie and Karen are blocked from receiving protections like these survivor benefits because of DOMA, which forces the U.S. military to discriminate against same-sex couples and deny them over 1,000 protections that marriage provides. Read More about Charlie and Karen.

Henry Velandia and Josh Vandiver

On August 29, 2010, Henry Velandia and Josh Vandiver were married in Montville, Connecticut. But unlike most newlyweds, Henry & Josh aren't spending the fall sending out thank you cards or taking the honeymoon of their dreams. Henry and Josh are fighting to save their marriage. Henry – who was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States in 2002 – may soon face deportation because of DOMA. If Henry and Josh were not a same-sex couple, Josh would easily be able to sponsor Henry for a visa or citizenship. Read More about Josh and Henry.

Tracy Dice-Johnson and Donna Johnson

This fall, Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Now, her wife, Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tracy Dice, is mourning the death as any other spouse would, trying to come to to terms with the loss and honor the life of the woman she loved. But because of DOMA, Dice must confront an additional challenge in her grieving process. DOMA restricts Dice from accessing a wide range of protections - including survivor benefits for spouses of fallen soldiers. Read More about Tracy and Donna.

Mark Maxwell and Tim Young

After 22 years together, Mark and Tim, who are raising four adopted children together, are thrilled to finally be married. But they know that because of DOMA, they are deprived of over 1,100 essential federal protections - and that their marriage is not respected by the state of North Carolina, where they live and work. That's why they're speaking out as much as possible and working with the Campaign for Southern Equality to speak out about how DOMA hurts their family. Read More about Mark and Tim.


Summer and Celeste

Summer and Celeste have been together for over three years, and now they are engaged in preparation for a Fall 2013 wedding. The couple has a beautiful baby girl, born just two days before Celeste left for Army basic training. Although they have been together for almost three years, Summer says that she and Celeste struggle to have their relationship recognized by the Army. This is largely due to DOMA, which forces the U.S. military to discriminate against them by denying federal respect of marriages between same-sex couples. Read More about Summer and Celeste.

Shannon and Casey McLaughlin

Major Shannon McLaughlin and her wife Casey married in Massachusetts, and although they're legally married, they don't receive over 1,000 protections and responsibilities afforded to different-sex married couples. DOMA prevents Shannon from including Casey on her health care plan, and the couple had to go through a lengthy court order process to ensure that both women would be recognized as parents. Read More about Shannon and Casey.

 

Howard Brenner and David

Because Howard is from London and David is from New York, and because they are both men, they find ourselves in an unusual situation - a binational relationship where they are denied the freedom to marry and everything that comes with that - including the ability to have David sponsor Howard to move to the United States permanently. They have to make the partnership work across two continents. Read More about Howard and David.

Corri Planck and Dianne Hardy-Garcia

Corri Planck and Dianne Hardy-Garcia married in California in September 2008, and they're now waiting to see the freedom to marry restored in the state. Even if the freedom to marry is restored in California, however, Corri and Dianne explained that marriage in the state alone would not be enough: DOMA must also be repealed. Because of DOMA, Corri and Dianne must navigate an ocean of concerns: Social Security inheritance complications, federal tax returns, and other financial issues married different-sex couples don't have to face. Read More about Corri and Dianne.