Sunday, October 5, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight filed the first U.S. lawsuit to seek federal recognition of same-sex marriage. What should have been the beginning of a happy marriage laid the groundwork for his almost 40-year quest for federally recognized marriage equality. Today's Out Spotlight is Richard Adams.
Richard Adams was born in Manila in the Philippines. His family moved to the United States when he was 12, and he grew up in Long Prairie, Minnesota. He studied liberal arts at the University of Minnesota.
Adams became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1968 and lived in Los Angeles, California when he met Australian citizen Anthony Corbett "Tony" Sullivan in 1971. They were issued a marriage license along with five other gay couples by Boulder County Clerk Clela Rorex in Boulder, Colorado on April 21, 1975.

They were married by Rev. Elder Freda Smith, clergy in Metropolitan Community Churches and Rev. Robert Sirico (now a Catholic priest but then MCC clergy). The event was witnessed by Rev. Charlie Arehart, pastor of MCC of the Rockies in Denver and Frank Zerilli, Rev. Troy Perry's long-time assistant. They were married before the Colorado Attorney General declared same-sex marriage licenses invalid.

Adams applied to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for Sullivan to receive a permanent residency green card as the spouse of an American citizen. In response, the couple received an INS reply that stated, “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.”
Adams lodged a formal protest. The INS reissued their denial without the slur.

Adams filed a suit in federal court, but the judge upheld the INS. Adams filed a second federal suit claiming that after an eight-year relationship, deportation of Sullivan constituted extreme hardship. The federal district court and U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against Adams.

Subsequently, Sullivan requested permanent residency for Adams in Australia. The Australian government denied the request. In 1985 the couple moved to Britain. Adams left behind his family and friends and a job he had for over 18 years. After one year in Britain, the couple returned to the U.S. and kept a low profile so as not to attract INS attention.

Subsequent to Adams’s death in 2012 and after the U.S. Attorney General in 2011 declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, Sullivan filed for a green card as Adams’s widower, so he could remain permanently in the United States.

 “We really felt that people could achieve the life they wanted.”


destiny said...

I can't believe someone used faggot when denying their application like that. Wow. They went through some hard times, but nice to see they stayed together, and both lived long enough to see things change.

destiny said...

Harry and Louis have five matching tattoos? There's no way that doesn't have meaning. One I could see doing with a friend, but not five. Also that last picture of the touching between them, when one reaches over another bandmate .....

And gee, now that the award season has begun, the PR machine has been turned up, what a surprise. I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked. :-D

Thank Goodness Times Are Changing said...

Wow. I can't believe a slur was used either. :(

Special K said...

I had thought about what to do to, to included the word or not, but then I thought, people need to see how the lgbt community was treated and how far things have come.

Special K said...

Couple that reaction back 40 years ago with the Supreme Court Decision today.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court denied petitions on Monday in all seven of the cases challenging bans on same-sex couples’ marriage rights, bringing marriage equality to five states and holding off high court review for now.

The decision not to take on the appeal in any of the pending certiorari petitions brings marriage equality to Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Utah — meaning 24 states in the country have legal marriage equality.

It also makes the appeals court decisions striking down the marriage bans in those states the law of the land in the 4th Circuit, 7th Circuit, and 10th Circuit courts of appeals — a result that makes marriage equality likely to come in short order in all states within those circuits. This is so because the controlling precedent in those circuits now is that bans on same-sex couples’ marriages are unconstitutional.

Among the other states in the 4th Circuit without marriage equality currently that would be impacted are North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Among the other states in the 10th Circuit without marriage equality currently that would be impacted are Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. That, once resolved, would bring the total number of states with marriage equality to 30.