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In an effort to support survivors in cases where abusive partners have access to firearms, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has developed a tip sheet with frequently asked questions to help survivors navigate their unique situations.To view and download this tip sheet, click the button below.When visiting our website, your web browser may produce pop-up advertisements.These advertisements were most likely produced by other websites you visited or by third party software installed on your computer.Because immigration is a wholly federal process, it didn’t matter that Hill is from — and would return to — Maryland, a state in which gay marriage was legalized in 2012.The Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1996, barred same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage benefits, including the right to sponsor foreign partners for permanent residence. “Even as states were changing laws, it didn’t really matter for the real things gay couples were going through.” And so from 2011 to 2013, Hill and Hai recommitted to living in Beijing, and embarked on months of in-depth research to find out where they could move, together. “Steven is my ideal man: handsome, sweet,” Hai says, adding, “And if I were in a relationship with a Chinese guy, there is no future, no marriage, no adoption, nothing.” Being gay in China is less taboo than many people may assume.

As an issue, it is largely invisible to the public.But once he met Hai, Hill was forced to chose between his love and his home.There was no way for Hai to easily immigrate to the U. since they couldn’t simply apply for a green card, move there together and get married, like heterosexual couples do.Hill had always intended to leave Beijing in 2011, after his three-year tenure at the university was up.

He is a well-educated, bilingual American and, as he approached thirty, wanted to pursue a higher-paying career back home.

They moved in together, sharing a great apartment in Beijing, as well as two cats, then took their first big vacation together to the Philippines. He applied to dozens of jobs in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, all of which have common domestic partner laws that recognize couples who can prove they have lived together for at least one year. At the very least, they thought, they would continue a long-distance relationship while Hill made a plan of action from the U. Hai came with him, intending to visit with Hill’s family for a few weeks, and was granted a six-month tourist visa. DOMA was under review by the Supreme Court at this time, and the couple knew that if the law was repealed, they’d have a shot at filing paperwork and getting married during Hai’s stay. They went on a road trip across the country for a few weeks, a much-needed reprieve from the relentless paperwork and stress. When they were in Vegas after what Hill described as “an exceptionally positive gambling stint,” they bought a ring and officially got engaged.


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