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How do you imagine Hell?
As a place of eternal torment, with all the nuances of shadow and darkness, as in the etchings of Gustave Doré?                                                                                                                                                    
Is it a scary maze, where everything is surreal and the reality is amplified and distorted by madness and terror, like a David Lynch nightmare?
It is perhaps an abyss of eternal flames and wailing, where flesh finds not peace at the mercy of ruthless demons? And how far is this place?
And if I told you that the real Hell is your life going down in pieces?
If I told you that sometimes there are no demons, no mazes, but only the chilling awareness to be witnessing the undoing of everything for which you fought and worked all your life?
And if I told you that the only maze of madness is a legal apparatus that should protect us, but instead tears us to pieces before the eyes of all, amid a circle of people, getting bigger and bigger, and you at the center, in a panic, trying to keep close everything you hold dear, and the more you try to hold on to them, the more they get be ripped off your hands.
Scary huh?

Well, this is the Hell that two of my friends, which I've met through our respective blogs, are living.
They are a couple, Mark is american and Fred (Frédéric) is french. 
They met 22 years ago, married in San Francisco, and have adopted 4 wonderful children by following the procedures they got access to thanks to a legal system that made it possible.
Three boys and a girl.
Mark and Fred are two people who have built the life they wanted. They live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States, the land of milk and honey.
The country that has proclaimed itself over and over again as the exporter of democracy.
The champion of falling governments, the hero who overcomes the most tenacious tyrants.
Yet this great country is letting two of its most devout citizens slip though its fingers.
'What?' you say.
It happens that, because of DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act), the marriage of Mark and Fred is not recognized at the federal level, and although both are recognized as the adoptive parents of 4 children, Fred, as a French citizen, has no the right to live in the U.S. (which has been his home for years) and, once that his residence permit (renewed again and again) expires, will be repatriated to France.
Mark and Fred are recognized as parents but not as a couple.
If now you need to go and drink a glass of water I will understand.
If you scratch your head quizzically I understand you even more.
Needless to say that the request to obtain a green card was declined, needless to say that the fact that Fred is responsible for 4 children and their welfare and education is irrelevant for certain offices. 
They are both adoptive parents, but between them it’s as if they were complete strangers from the standpoint of Federal Law.
They cannot stay in America because Fred no longer has the right to remain, cannot move to France because, although their union would be recognized (PACS), adoption by homosexual couples is not yet legal.
You just have to say 'between a rock and a hard place'.
Mark writes a blog here it is.
They keep appealing this idiocratic piece of law with the help of their attorney.

What is DOMA:
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted September 21, 1996, is a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman.The decree, passed in the House of Congress by an overwhelming majority, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton September 21, 1996.By law, no U.S. state or other political subdivision of the United States can be obliged to recognize as marriage the union of same-sex, even if this were regarded as a marriage in another state.Section 3 of DOMA encoding the non-recognition of gay marriage for all federal purposes (hence the request for a residence permit), including insurance benefits for state employees, social security survivor benefits and joint filing of tax returns.
In short, the same system that allowed Mark and Fred to have a family and adopt 4 children, is now trying to tear them apart.
I asked Mark for permission to write this post, my intention is to show you that once again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, although in this case it's a real highway , built with bricks of idiocy and prejudice.
"We will protect the family!"
"We will protect our marriage!"
"We will protect the children!"
And in the name of all these sound principles, in the shadow of which grazes the fat cow of hypocrisy, this family, these children, this marriage is going down to ashes.
This is the justice that rejects equal rights for homosexual couples.
This is the righteousness of those who 'care' about the institutions of family and marriage.
I do not know how this will end for Mark and Fred, I remain hopeful that someone with the power to make a difference, will see light and repel this stupid law, but I know that NO ONE deserves to be treated like a second class citizen based on their sexual preferences.
Topic that has often been treated and gutted, with the exception, this time, I am showing you the true result of the attitude of the conformists who legislate with bible in hand.
That very Bible should burn their palms.
This is not a gay couple who wanted to satisfy a fanciful desire for fatherhood.
This is not a whim.
This is a real amily that is struggling to stay together.
And with regards to DOMA, it does not protect marriage, it hinders it.
I leave the link of the video interview on CNN where Mark and Fred talk about this nonsense masquerading as law.
This happens in America, in 2012, to two exemplary citizens who pay taxes and obey the law, and to their beloved children, who ask nothing more than the luxury of having both parents in the same continent.

TQF xx


LaRobi said...

Leggere certe storie fa davvero male al cuore: davvero non trovo parole per dire quanto tutto questo sia orribile e sbagliato...

paroleperaria said...

Mamma mia, questa è una contraddizione, una cosa pazzesca!
Io pensavo che solo in italia avessimo leggi da medio evo... (magari solo no, ma non pensavo negli usa).
Spero che risolvano i loro problemi e, ancora una volta, sono schifata dal mondo in cui viviamo...

Mark said...

I know, I told you before that you're a gifted writer, and I really mean it. This was beautiful and not just because it's personal to me, but because of how eloquently you laid it out.
You got it all right, my Friend!
Although we knew the law, we were still hopeful that our Green Card Application would be approved because who wants to see a Father ripped from his children? When we got the denial letter, that was hard. For the most part, we have kept the kids from feeling our pain. But I think they are slowly catching on. Kids are smart!
Thank you so much for doing this for us. By getting the word out on here and on Facebook, you are showing so many people that this could really happen in 2012. You are not only trying to help us, but thousands of other Families just like ours. We owe you a world of thanks.
Thank you.
Take care.
Your Friend, mark

paroleperaria said...

And I'd like to add one thing... i second Mark when he says you're a gifted writer... it's completely true. And I can say that you're gifted in italian and in english as well... with hilarious subjects and serious ones, like this one.
Thanks :)

The Queen Father said...

@ Mark, if I could but make a tiny difference, it would give a whole new meaning to the hours I spend writing. I sincerely wish you guy the best of luck. Please keep me posted and let me know if there is anything at all I could do to help you.

TQF xx

@Fra, thank you... You never know... Perhaps one day you'll be able to find my book in a shop near you.... ;0) xxx