Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bisexual Immigrant Nearly Deported Gets Reprieve

Excerpt from "The Curious Case of Ivo Widlak"
Even as Ivo and Lale submit their marriage to review by authorities, the bisexual community has moved to embrace them, with plans for rallies, courtroom cheer sections and support across social media. Bisexual journalist Neal Boulton says, "America is the last great bastion of freedom on the planet, though if Ivo Widlak is deported -- a journalist who has used his freedom for the good of not only the United States but of democracy itself -- a dangerous precedent will be primed to injure other immigrants, not just of the LGBT community but of many other creeds, as well." Bisexual advocate Morgan Goode told me, "This case is a devastating reminder of the ways in which conversations around marriage equality have failed us with their simplicity, and of how bisexual people have been left behind by our fellow activists and advocates in the lesbian and gay community." She also said that "if lawmakers and the courts remain unaware of the realities of our lives, our relationships will be unrecognized, invalidated and, in instances of binational couples, ripped apart as the result of bi invisibility."
On this winter night, as I speak with Ivo, neither of us can guess whether his marriage will be found valid despite his orientation, and I ask him not to give up, because of what his case will mean for other bisexual people in binational relationships. I tell Ivo, "Your case can show people what it's like to be discriminated against, because even in different-sex relationships bisexuals still face adversity," but Ivo protests, saying he never intended to be a "bisexual activist." He's right; Ivo's a regular person who loves his wife and never set out to be a hero, just a husband. Let's hope he gets to be both this holiday season.
UPDATE: On Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, Ivo Widlak's case was extended until Dec. 12, 2013. The judge in Ivo's case has made no decisions, so the case will remain under investigation by USCIS. Ivo's attorney Ira Azulay says, "We (and I) believe that USCIS is far too restrictive in the way they interpret the immigration laws. Anytime we see people being badgered by the system, we believe that we can help them push back. The system for too long has counted on people giving up, and that just should not be the result."
 Read the whole story over at HuffingtonPost.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Polish journalist to be deported due to his bisexuality

Ivo Widlak posted a plea for help to the BiNet USA Facebook and I spoke with him today to hear more of his story. 
 In summary, he's a Polish-born bisexual man who's been in the US since 2001 and has been married to his bisexual wife for 10 years.  Someone in the Polish community of Chicago informed the office of Immigration that he was a homosexual and not really married to his wife.  He protests this as does his wife.  If you have a comment you'd like to share on Ivo's story please leave it in the comments as I will be writing a story ASAP on this for the Huffington Post since Ivo's deportation hearing is 12/20/2012. 

This truly seems to be a case of the law not understanding or respecting the reality of the bisexual orientation.  If Ivo was in a same sex relationship, he would not be deported for the Obama administration has stated that foreigners who are same-sex partners of American citizens can be included under an Obama administration policy suspending deportations of some immigrants who pose no security riskIf Ivo was straight he would also be safe, but because he and his wife are both bisexual their marriage, love and ability to live in the US is threatened.


Ivo Widlak is also a respected international journalist as you can see from his Wikipedia and professional website pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivo_Widlak
http://ivowidlak.com/

Ivo's wife Lale was quoted in a Chicago Polish paper as saying,
"Words cannot express how I feel about this case. The fact that I will lose my best friend and husband after 10 years of marriage. A bond we created with God, is being judged and scrutinized because we don't reflect the 1950's image of marriage. You can't tell me that our marriage is not consummated because we are bisexual.  When I look at my husband he is not the man I married 10 years ago. This case has rendered a negative impact on our marriage and Ivo. And is slowly chipping away at his pride, energy, ambition and self-esteem." - http://www.se.pl/chicago/

What else can we do for Ivo?  Anyone have direct email contacts with LGBT Immigration groups, ACLU, GLAD, Lambda Legal?