Judy and her wife Karin, a British citizen, are currently filing for a marriage-based green card. They have been at the forefront of the fight for same-sex binationals for several years now. Here's what Judy told the congregation in her sermon, "For Love or Country?"
"I am no preacher. I am no Biblical scholar. I am a 64-year-old lesbian with an immigration problem, my wife and our marriage.
I want to share this problem, this issue, with you tonight at Victor’s invitation. I am Judy Rickard, an American citizen. My wife, Karin Bogliolo, is not. Karin, 72 last month, was born German, but became a British citizen after her mother remarried.
Because we are both women, my country will not let ME sponsor MY WIFE for immigration to live here with me. If I was a man, or my wife was, (I know that sounds funny) that would not be the case. But we are women, lesbians, and that is our immigration problem. And that is extreme cruelty on our government’s part. And it gives us discrimination fatigue because it has been going on so long.
Our marriage is the product of a love that emerged in surprising circumstances. We met online when Karin was visiting America. Neither of us thought this would happen. But it did. We did not ignore it. We took a risk to be together. We are happy together. We committed to each other. We want our love, our commitment, to continue. We want to be together. But in America today, DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Period. No other option.
So America denies our marriage. America believes we are legal strangers. We face the ultimate discrimination – we cannot safely and legally live here together until the law changes. We have been together since 2006, when we committed to each other. But the reality is that we have been apart about half of our relationship – living in different countries because of DOMA.
So I have had to face this choice that no one should face – love or country? No American should have to choose between country and spouse. No American should have to choose between country and career. No American should have to leave America to be with the one they love. But I had to."
(Read the rest on Judy's blog. Click here.)Special thanks - as always to Judy - for mentioning the work of Out4Immigration.