Married Gay Couple Faces Deportation

A basic traffic violation caught the eye of the feds, who refuse to recognize gay marriage.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC Bay Area
    Brian Willingham and Alfonso Garcia have been a couple for ten years.

    It could be a tough day Thursday for a married gay couple who live in Orinda.

    A deportation hearing is set for Alfonso Garcia because a simple traffic violation caught the eye of the feds.

    Brian Willingham and Alfonso Garcia have been a couple for ten years. They got married in New York in August.

    A couple of months before they were married, Garcia got a traffic ticket. His name triggered immigration officials to discover he didn't have lawful status in the United States.

    Because of the 1996 law called the "Defense of Marriage Act," the federal government refused to recognize the legal marriage of gay couples. They feel the law is not fair.

    "We are really pushing for the Obama administration to step in and protect same sex partners who are going through immigration issues like we are," Willingham said.

    "A piece of paper saying I want to stay with him is not why I got married.," Garcia said. "I married him because I love him. He is a part of me. He's my better half, he is my support."

    The couple said they reached out to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Diane Feinstein and U.S. Representative John Garamendi. They said they have not heard from them.

    A hearing is set for Thursday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m. in San Francisco's immigration court.

    For more information, go to their website www.stopthedeportations.com.