Barbara, forty-three, a U.S. citizen
living in Massachusetts, is legally
disabled with severe difficulty walking.
She has a disabled son, seventeen, as well
as a thirteen-year-old daughter. She
relives heavily for physical help as well
as emotional support on her British
partner, Susan, who lives with her in the
U.S. Barbara qualifies for subsidized
housing because of her multiple
disabilities. Susan is legally in the U.S.
on a student visa. Yet, foreigners on
student visas cannot live in subsidized
housing, so Susan’s presence in the house
must be a secret, even though she is both
Susan’s primary caregiver and her partner.
Barbara feels the injustice acutely: “I
have neighbors who have a partner who is
not American, and they can bring their
spouses, and I say, accept all; but I’m an
American and I can’t get my own home
country to accept my own partner.” Read more
stories Human Rights Watch, Family
(photo: Human Rights