Married in Spain, but not the US

Someone clearly not appreciating the “long view”:

Americans often tout the great freedoms that U.S. citizenship grants. But lately I have a hard time seeing it that way. Instead, I find myself toying with renouncing my citizenship. When it comes to my ability to spend my life with the person I love, this country has turned its back on me.

I am a dual national. I was born in the United States to an American mother and a Spanish father. I grew up in Spain, although my family frequently jetted across the ocean to maintain bonds with family and friends. Thirteen years ago, I returned to the U.S. to work in New York for the United Nations.

On July 14, 2006, I married the person I love in a small ceremony with close friends and family. I could do so because, in 2005, Spain’s parliament legalized same-sex unions. Without too much fanfare and with surprisingly little outcry from the vociferous Roman Catholic Church, Spain — traditionally a Catholic nation — took a brave step to recognize the rights of all citizens to a family life. The ground did not shake; society’s fabric did not tear. Jose and I were married by the mayor of a small town outside Seville in the first same-sex marriage ever held in the community. People there expressed nothing but happiness for us.

I had naively assumed that our union would allow us to live together.

This all leaves me in a quandary: Must I renounce my U.S. citizenship so that I can live in the country of my birth with the person I love?

Short answer: Yes.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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