For some, DOMA decision is immediately life-altering

Story revised to clarify the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling for binational couples.

 

For one Connecticut same-sex couple, the decision on the DOMA was immediately life-altering.

Lucy Truman and Kelli Ryan, a binational couple living in Newtown, had two things packed Wednesday morning as they anxiously awaited the Supreme Court’s decision: Truman’s suitcases and her application for a green card.

“We’ve been so frozen and paralyzed in every aspect of our lives with this issue hanging over our heads,” Ryan said.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee failed last month to include an amendment in a wide-ranging immigration bill that would have allowed for Americans to sponsor their foreign born same-sex partner.

If the Supreme Court had upheld the Defense of Marriage Act, Ryan, as a U.S. citizen, could not sponsor Truman for permanent residency. What’s more, the worker visa Truman obtained – she is a research scientist at Yale University — expires Sunday.

If DOMA was not overruled, she would have had to leave the country. She said she would have had to establish life again in Scotland, her native country, or somewhere else in the United Kingdom where a job was available.

Her wife would have left Sandy Hook and followed her shortly after. 

“I’m glad that I don’t have to go, I can unpack my things and Kelli and I can be together,” Truman said.

Her wife was equally as thrilled, speaking with a sense of relief.

“We’ve got to know binational same-sex couples within the state of Connecticut within the past few years,” Ryan said. “Sadly we’ve seen several forced to leave. We were thinking we might be next and it was kind of frightening.”

If Truman had to leave, she would have established life again in Scotland or somewhere else in the United Kingdom where a job was available. Ryan would have left Sandy Hook and followed her shortly after.

But, because DOMA was decided unconstitutional, Truman will mail out her green card application and while it is pending she can stay here in the U.S.

Wondering what would happen right up to the deadline was like nothing else the couple had been through before.

Even when friends asked Truman and Ryan if they would be taking a summer vacation, they replied with: “Well, it really depends on what the Supreme Court decides.”

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