Gay couple may be forced apart by US immigration laws

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Swansea woman and her American partner may have to give up their home and life in the States, as US immigration laws fail to take gay partnerships into account.

Belinda Ryan, a helicopter pilot, has been living with her partner Wendy Daw, an acupuncturist, in San Francisco. But she will be forced to return to the UK unless there is a change in immigration laws for gay couples.

Currently US law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and excludes same-sex couples from having the same rights. Though the debate is raging in Washington, the couple fear that any change to the law will come to late if it comes at all.

Though Ms Ryan has been serving as co-ordinator for the chapter of Immigration Equality in San Francisco, and the couple have spent over £12,000 in legal fees, they both fear that their life in America will soon be over.

“We thought America was a lot more liberal” Ms Daw said; “we’re running towards the end of exhausting our ability to remain here.”

However, she affirmed that geography would not be allowed to stand in the way of her relationship, “I didn’t go out of my way in life to choose to fall in love with a woman who was not from here. It was all just a matter of course. I may have to leave my home, my family and my country, everything – not by choice, not because I want to, but because my government will not allow me to live my life here”

“If I want to keep my relationship with Belinda and she has to leave, then I have to leave, too.”