We are two proud, loving gay men.  My partner Niddy (a Thai Citizen) and I (a US Citizen) have known each other for 11 years.  On July 9, 2004 we reverently sealed our relationship with a traditional Thai Buddhist marriage ceremony in Phayao, Thailand.  However, since gay marriage is not legal in Thailand either, this amazing event attended by more than 200 supportive family and friends meant everything to us, but nothing on paper.  Immediately after, I began a long, expensive and exhaustive campaign to try and bring him to the USA, with no success.  I hired lawyers, spoke with immigration experts, wrote to politicians and called in personal favors all over the country - but to no avail.  Finally, in 2006, I realized that if we were to be together, I would have to leave my home country - the same country that classified me as a "second-class citizen" by not offering me the same federal marriage rights afforded to a heterosexual man.  I gave up my dream job, left my family, liquidated my assets and moved to Thailand to be with my one true love.  After that, I spent countless hours and waited years to make sure we had all the proper documentation, so that Niddy could financially and independently apply for a Tourist Visa to come see my home and meet my family and friends.  This was just to visit, NOT to live.  He was turned down.  We spent the next few years trying to figure out what we could do better during the next application process.  We spoke with people who  succeeded and failed in this endeavor, gained legal council and tried to build a paper-based trail of proof that US Immigration couldn't deny.  That took us to this year (2013) when with excitement and anticipation of a 10 year battle under our belt - we knew in our hearts he wouldn't be denied a Tourist Visa.  We were wrong.  He was flatly refused for a second time.  They won't tell you why you were denied, allow no appeals and leave you with only a sense of disappointment, dispair and lack of hope.  We were devastated.  I was ashamed to call myself an American - a country that wouldn't recognize the loving relationship of two people who spent over a decade just trying to visit (not live in) the USA.  THEN, THIS WEEK DOMA WAS OVERTURNED!  What does this mean for us?  I don't know.  Maybe little, but maybe everything.  This cause is to unite people who believe in equal rights and perhaps join us up with the Immigration and Equal Rights experts that could help us realize our dream.  Won't you support us and spread our plea and help Niddy meet my family and friends for the first time in 11 long years?

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