NOH8 Married Couple Faces Deportation Hearing

Monday, July 11th, 2011


Alex Benshimol and Doug Gentry, who have been together for six years now, married in July of 2010 in Connecticut, where their marriage was legally recognized by the state. Once married, Doug filed for a marriage-based "green card petition" to allow Alex to stay in the US, but the application was denied this past March citing DOMA as the sole reason.

Now, Alex's green card has expired and, under the Defense of Marriage Act denounced earlier this year by the Obama Administration, the marriage between Doug and Alex is not recognized under federal law, preventing Alex from being able to stay in the country with his family. As a result of the struggles they've endured since, Doug and Alex became one of the founding couples of the Stop The Deportations: DOMA Project Campaign.

The couple faces a deportation hearing tomorrow, July 13th; and has created a petition supporting the couple by urging President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to take action to recognize Doug and Alex’s marriage and prevent another family from being torn apart. Out4Immigration, Stop the Deportations, GetEQUAL, Marriage Equality USA, and many others have already lent their support.

Doug's 26-year-old son, Kenneth Gentry (pictured with the couple below and one of two of Doug's kids from a previous marriage who see Alex as a father), has written to both Senators Feinstein and Boxer asking them to contact the Department of Homeland Security and save his stepfather. You can read Kenneth's blog about his stepfather's predicament here.

"Alex came into the U.S. 12 years ago from Venezuela and overstayed a tourist visa, an immigration violation that straight binational couples can easily remedy once married; as a gay married couple, Doug and Alex do not have that option. We believe the political will of our elected leaders must be directed at this issue so that DOMA is repealed quickly. All American citizens deserve the right to pursue life and happiness with the liberty and equality guaranteed us all by our Constitution. We need our elected officials to show leadership and resolve on this issue. The Obama administration has the power to protect couples like Doug and Alex so they are not torn apart by deportation. Join us in declaring that the cruel discrimination that has been inflicted on couples like Doug and Alex MUST finally come to an end. " - (Stop The Deportations: The DOMA Project)

At tomorrow's hearing, Alex and Doug's families will ask the Immigration Judge and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorney prosecuting the case to put these deportation proceedings on hold pending the outcome of efforts to repeal DOMA or a final definitive ruling on DOMA's constitutionality by the federal courts.

We wanted to take an opportunity to send all our positive vibes their way; we hope you will too!



Alex Benshimol, Kenneth Gentry, & Doug Gentry


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