Bisexual Immigrant Nearly Deported Gets Reprieve

Excerpt from “The Curious Case of Ivo Widlak”
Even as Ivo and Lale submit their marriage to review by authorities, the bisexual community has moved to embrace them, with plans for rallies, courtroom cheer sections and support across social media. Bisexual journalist Neal Boulton says, “America is the last great bastion of freedom on the planet, though if Ivo Widlak is deported — a journalist who has used his freedom for the good of not only the United States but of democracy itself — a dangerous precedent will be primed to injure other immigrants, not just of the LGBT community but of many other creeds, as well.” Bisexual advocate Morgan Goode told me, “This case is a devastating reminder of the ways in which conversations around marriage equality have failed us with their simplicity, and of how bisexual people have been left behind by our fellow activists and advocates in the lesbian and gay community.” She also said that “if lawmakers and the courts remain unaware of the realities of our lives, our relationships will be unrecognized, invalidated and, in instances of binational couples, ripped apart as the result of bi invisibility.”

On this winter night, as I speak with Ivo, neither of us can guess whether his marriage will be found valid despite his orientation, and I ask him not to give up, because of what his case will mean for other bisexual people in binational relationships. I tell Ivo, “Your case can show people what it’s like to be discriminated against, because even in different-sex relationships bisexuals still face adversity,” but Ivo protests, saying he never intended to be a “bisexual activist.” He’s right; Ivo’s a regular person who loves his wife and never set out to be a hero, just a husband. Let’s hope he gets to be both this holiday season.

UPDATE: On Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, Ivo Widlak’s case was extended until Dec. 12, 2013. The judge in Ivo’s case has made no decisions, so the case will remain under investigation by USCIS. Ivo’s attorney Ira Azulay says, “We (and I) believe that USCIS is far too restrictive in the way they interpret the immigration laws. Anytime we see people being badgered by the system, we believe that we can help them push back. The system for too long has counted on people giving up, and that just should not be the result.”

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