January 21, 2012

defend this family; do it for the children

Fred, Mark and their children

In my less than one year of blogging I have met some wonderful and interesting people. I must admit there are a few that I consider my favorites, people who touch me with their humor, their life stories, their compassion and their ability to love unconditionally. My friend Mark Himes is one of those people. Mark and his partner Fred have four wonderful children and I'm afraid their family is in danger of being broken apart. You can read all the details of this story on Marks blog Our Simple Lives and to a lesser extent in the letter I sent to The Secretary of Homeland Security on their behalf which I have posted below.

Dear Madam Secretary,

I am writing to you today to ask for your help. My name is Jennifer Forbes.  I'm American, I am a wife, I am a mother of two and step mother of three, and grandmother of four.

I am also the granddaughter of three immigrants who came to this country married and raised their families. They had a dream, a vision of a place where they could be free, free to work, free to worship, and free to associate. And they chose America because this is the land where differences are respected and diversity is celebrated.

In my own family my step-daughter who is white is married to a person of color, prior to the 1967 Supreme Court decision they would have been arrested here in The Commonwealth of Virginia for their union. My beautiful grandsons would have been considered little more than outcasts, but for those who dared to speak up when they saw injustice being done. 

And it is just such an injustice that has prompted me to write this letter to you today. I would like to appeal to you on behalf of my friend Mark Himes and his French born husband Fred Deloizy of Harrisburg Pennsylvania whose green card has recently expired and is in danger of being deported. Fred has resided in this country with legal status for the entirety of his 20+ year relationship and marriage to Mark; his love for his family is clear and there is no doubt that he is a loving spouse and parent.  Fred’s ties and relationship to this country are undisputed; the couple has four beautiful adopted children together; Jonathan, Claire, Jacob and Joshua like all children need their parents to be together. He loves this country and has shown a willingness to work and the fact that he will contribute to our society is beyond doubt because he has already.

It is my opinion that the Defense of Marriage Act is a failure as marriages do not need defining or defending, but families do.  Mark and Fred’s family does. We as a society cannot seriously protect a marriage that fails the children. Our children are the future of this country, they need both parent home and engaged in their lives. Married straight couples can sponsor their spouses but same sex marriages remain un-recognized because of this act. You MUST consider making an exception for this couple– for this family- for these CHILDREN. Do not uproot these children from the only life they’ve ever known, because that may happen. Don’t make Fred leave, please stop these types of deportations!

Fred & Mark
We as a country evolve, attitudes change and we need to change with them; and so must the policies and laws of this government so that they reflect the will of its people. And if there are times Madam Secretary when we find we are bound by laws that are unfair or unjust then we must apply them with common sense and mercy.

I urge you to keep this family together; please reissue a new green card for Fred Deloisy, his children deserve to have both their parents.

Friends, That concludes my letter to the secretary. I just wanted to add that I respect that your opinions may differ from mine about gay marriage or even on issues of immigration. But I ask you to please join me and write your own letter. Help save this family; if for nothing else do it for the children.          
                                                    With Thanks, Jen

Joshua, Johnathan Claire and Jacob
I hope I got the twins right!

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528


  1. That was a beautifully written letter, and so touching that you took the time to write something so eloquent, detailed, and supportive! I hope it makes a difference. There are so many people rooting for that wonderful family!

    1. Thanks Liz,
      Their situation really touches my heart! I hope my letter helps touch other hearts too!

  2. You had me at "Dear".
    Seriously, that was a incredible letter filled with facts and most importantly, love. Perhaps you should be a writer when you grow up!
    I've had such a day and I'm finally getting to the blogesphere. This was so nice to come to.
    I've written before that you are not only helping us, but you are helping 38,000 Families just like ours. All we ask is to keep the children from losing their father. Is that too much to ask?
    I think your letters and other like it will make a difference. Yours just melted my heart.
    Also, my Mother never married my birth-father. But had they wanted to when I was conceived in 1967, that would have been out of the question. You nailed it!
    Thank you for this.
    Your Friend, m.

  3. I have read this story all over the internet and I think it's amazing that our community is standing up for this injustice.
    Good for you for writing that letter.
    This FAMILY deserves to be a family. This man deserves to be here regardless of who he loves.

    1. I couldn't agree with you more. It's my hope that all of our support garners results and this family stays intact.

  4. Beautiful letter and I am going to share. Hope you don't mind. I am going to post about this and cite your post and their blog. I SO agree with you. This is unconscionable. I have a friend who is married to an Iranian citizen and has been for almost 30 years and right after the first Desert Storm war started INS tried and tried to have him deported even though he has had a green card all these years and is married to an American citizen and it was NOT a same sex marriage. They also have 4 children but because of WHERE he was from they decided NOT to renew his green card. Ridiculous!!! This really rankles me! Thanks SO much for posting this!!

  5. Peg,

    Share this story, that was my intention; and thank you so much.

    I'm sure I'm not speaking out of turn when I say that Mark and Fred would be ever so grateful that you do.

    And Peg- I am so sorry about your friends..that is just horrible, to rip apart families like they are meaningless- it's sick isn't it?

    1. It is terrible Jen. I am posting mine tomorrow about this. I also "liked" their facebook page and shared it.

  6. I don't know how I missed this post. OMG.... terrible things that happen. ARGH! I can't even begin to go down the path of all the wrongs that are happening right now.


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