American Gordon Stewart stands in his
gutted London flat that he hopes will be a
home for him and his Brazilian partner,
Marcos, who isn't allowed to enter the U.S.
Stewart's employer, Pfizer, has helped make
it possible for them to live together in
London, where Marcos has the right to work
and health-care benefits.
A U.S. citizen, the 47-year-old Pfizer
marketing exec had planned to live and work
in New York until he retired. His parents
are deceased, and his sisters and brother,
nieces and nephews live in the U.S., as do
most of his life-long friends.
When Marcos called Stewart from São Paulo
to tell him his routine student-visa
renewal turned out to be anything but,
Stewart had worked for Pfizer for more than
Marcos' student visa wasn't renewed, they
were told, because the consulate didn't
think he was in the U.S. as a legitimate
student. He wasn't married, he was nearing
40, and Stewart, his financial sponsor,
wasn't married and was over 40.
It took time. And over the next 17 months,
Stewart flew to Brazil 34 times. Eventually
he was offered a position in England. His
partner could move there and join him,
legally. In 2005, Stewart and Marcos moved
to London. Neither is a U.K. citizen.
"The outrage is the amount of taxes you as
an American have to pay and then your
partner isn't even allowed to come here,"
Read story, Immigration law divides gay
couples, Partners left to make painful
choice By Lisa Kennedy, The Denver
(Photo: by Cate Gillon, Getty Images. "I
still hope that one day we'll have the
choice to live in the U.S.," says Gordon