May 7, 1996: The Day DOMA Was Born


17 Years Ago Today DOMA was Introduced in Congress

17 Years Ago Today DOMA Was Introduced In Congress.

Since it was signed into law by President Clinton it has caused immeasurable harm to lesbian and gay Americans and our families. It has destroyed marriages, torn apart families, depeleted savings, forced us to defer plans to start families, to buy a home, start a business or pursue our education. DOMA has robbed us of years of our lives, it has left us poorer, unable to care for our families, forced into exile, separated from those we love, living in fear of a deportation, hiding in a double closet and enduring a constant, crippling burden of stress that few relationships could survive.

And yet we are still here, tens of thousands of lesbian and gay binational couples, DOMA WARRIORS all of us, not waiting, but fighting. Not sitting on the sidelines, but joining a movement made by us for us. We have empowered each other, and we have created a supportive environment to share our stories and lift ourselves up. DOMA has destroyed much, but our love endures.

We have fought this fight for love, and we will win.

Keep up the fight every day until DOMA is gone and we have achieved full equality for our families. Do not give up and do not give in. Share your story ([email protected]) and donate at a level you can afford to The DOMA Project at and love will win in the end.

Workshop with Attorney Lavi Soloway: Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Supreme Court’s Expected Ruling on DOMA. What does it mean for UAFA?

Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the coming Supreme Court Decision. What does it mean for UAFA?


Live Streamed Video Workshop by Attorney Lavi Soloway

In this workshop, DOMA Project co-founder, attorney Lavi Soloway, will discuss how the upcoming Supreme Court decision on DOMA will impact Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a focus on how UAFA will be impacted.  This workshop is the third in a series of workshops provided by the DOMA Project in conjunction with the Love Honor Cherish Foundation.

Please note: all our workshops are provided for informational purposes only.  The answers provided in this workshop do not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon as such.  We cannot directly address the personal circumstances of any individual case, but we encourage you to continue to submit general questions until the date of the workshop.


This workshop will be live streamed on Friday May 10, 2013 at 8am Pacific Time. You will be able to watch the workshop on this page at the time specified.


Watch the recording of our previous live workshops

55 Days Left In Our Advocacy Campaign: Let’s Share Stories of 55 More Binational Couples to Defeat DOMA in the Court of Public Opinion


55 days until Supreme Court rules on DOMA. Act now to win the future!

We are looking for binational couples to join our campaign. Your story is a vital part of winning this struggle.

What should our story say? What should we share?

How you share your story is entirely up to you. Here are some suggestions that we feel make for a fuller story for the readers:

  • Tell us how you and your spouse/partner met, fell in love, and decided that you wanted to spend the rest of your life together.
  • Describe the sacrifices you’ve made as a couple to be together or to see one another.
  • Share how DOMA has affected your life. What would your future be like if you were treated the same as any other married couple?
  • Provide pictures or videos: images help establish an emotional connection between you and the readers, making it easier to relate to personal stories.

Your testimonials, videos, photographs will help us put discrimination into terms that everyone can understand: its cruel impact on individual couples and families. Anyone interested in getting involved to help raise awareness of the impact of DOMA on binational couples should contact us at [email protected] or via our contact form. All information received will be confidential.

Binational couples who are currently in separate countries and binational couples living abroad are welcome. Couples who want to participate without revealing their full names or other identifying information are also welcome, however, all couples are invited to write their stories in first-person voice or using first names only.  All stories submitted will be edited and reviewed by The DOMA Project Team including our attorneys and returned to you for final approval before posting.  All questions should be directed to [email protected]

VICTORY! Immigration Judge Delays “DOMA Deportation” for Gay Couple for a Third Time, Giving USCIS Another Chance to Approve Their Green Card Petition

Brian and Alfonso Talk to the Media

Alfonso and Brian speak to the media outside San Francisco Immigration Court

DOMA Project participants, Brian and Alfonso, were due in San Francisco Immigration Court today to face the Immigration Judge, again. Back in March 2012, at their first hearing, Alfonso faced deportation after being stopped for a traffic violation and being placed in the custody of Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Brian filed a green card petition for Alfonso based on their marriage, and decided to fight for that green card. Bravely and defiantly, Brian and Alfonso told their story over and over. Alfonso was brought to the United States from Mexico when he was only 14 years old by his parents and has always lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. The rest of his family members obtained green cards or U.S. citizenship, but Alfonso was left behind as he aged-out of provisions meant to keep parents and children together.

Alfonso and Brian met in 2001 and have been together as a committed couple for almost 12 years. In March 2012, surrounded by the media outside the Immigration Court, Brian and Alfonso celebrated their first victory, when the Immigration Judge agreed to postpone proceedings for seven months to allow USCIS to process the green card petition. Despite DOMA, both the government prosecutor and the Judge appeared to support the couple’s determination to fight for full equality. When October 2012 rolled around, USCIS still had not made a decision on the green card petition, so Brian and Alfonso, through their attorney, DOMA Project co-founder, Lavi Soloway, asked the Immigration Judge to delay the case again. She agreed. The new hearing date, May 2, 2013 was put on the Court’s calendar.


Brian and Alfonso waited anxiously for a decision from USCIS. They were disappointed when the San Francisco District Office of USCIS denied the petition on the basis of DOMA last November without even giving them the respect and dignity of the green card interview they deserved. They quickly appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). In March, with a deportation hearing just about a month away, they decided to ask the Immigration Judge to delay the case again. The couple knew that delays of this nature were highly unusual. It was already a year since their first appearance in Court and they were not sure the Immigration Judge would agree to delay the case further now that USCIS had denied the petition.


In their latest request to the Judge, they asked for more time, pointing out that the BIA was rejecting all denials of green card petitions decided by USCIS on the basis of Section 3 of DOMA and that the BIA was re-opening those petitions and sending them back USCIS ordering full adjudication including interviews. The Immigration Judge appears to have sided again with Brian and Alfonso, providing enough time for the BIA to rule on their appeal and for the USCIS to finally approve their green card petition before the next hearing date.  Brian and Alfonso are confident that the BIA will soon re-open their green card petition, and send it back to USCIS for complete adjudication. They see the light at the end of the tunnel in their fight for equality.

With the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA less than two months away the climate has shifted considerably in their favor. At the last minute, the Court called to inform Brian and Alfonso that the Judge had agreed to postpone proceedings until November 2013. When they go back to Court this fall, Brian and Alfonso expect the deportation proceedings to be terminated so that Alfonso can finally receive his green card.



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This is a pro-bono project of the law firm of Masliah & Soloway, PC. Posts on this website are offered for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The law firm of Masliah & Soloway, PC has offices in New York and Los Angeles. Our practice is limited to U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law.