San Francisco, CA -— April 23, 2009 -— Because federal immigration law does not currently allow LGBT Americans to sponsor their partners, it took an emergency bill introduced on the Senate floor yesterday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to keep one same-sex binational couple and their family together in the United States.
Jay Mercado, an American woman and Shirley Tan, her Filipino partner, live in Pacifica, California with their 12-year-old twin sons, both American citizens. Shirley had been ordered to appear for deportation on May 10, but the emergency bill will keep this family together at least through 2010.
Their well-documented case was initially brought to the attention of Molly McKay, Media Director for Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA), just over a month ago. Immediately, activists from around the country, including those from MEUSA, Out4Immigration, Immigration Equality and Love Exiles, took up the cause and pleaded with elected officials for help. In the month that followed, the story lit up the blogosphere, was written about in the San Jose Mercury News, and gained national prominence as a feature article in the April 20 edition of People Magazine. (read more)