Photo: Gay in Peru
A couple that has been together for five years are now separated by thousands of miles because a Peruvian citizen overstayed his visa and has now been deported. The federal government does not recognize the civil union of Richard Dennis, and Jair Izquierdo because the 2004 Defense of Marriage Act legally defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Izquierdo’s attorney is seeking to get humanitarian parole, a temporary permit that would allow Jair to return to the United States because of a “compelling emergency” based on “urgent humanitarian reasons.” Humanitarian parole, often offered to care for a sick relative, is not widely granted and would only allow him to remain in the United States for up to a year, but can be extended.
Discrimination against gays in Peru is why Izquierdo left Peru in 2001 where he said he feared for his life.
“There was no place for me in Peru because I was gay. We’re still being discriminated against,” he said. “They’re killing people.”