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Gay and Lesbian Immigration Rights Subject of Award-Winning Film

For immediate release:
July 27, 2007

Press contacts:
K.T. Drasky, Media Coordinator
kathy (at)

Amos Lim, Out4Immigration
amos (at)

Gay and Lesbian Immigration Rights Subject of Award-Winning Film

Sebastian Cordoba’s Through Thick and Thin Wins OUTFEST Freedom Award

LOS ANGELES, CA -July 27, 2007-Sebastian Cordoba’s documentary, Through Thick and Thin garnered the prestigious Freedom Award at this month’s OUTFEST Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The film depicts the cruel-and heartbreaking-scenarios gay and lesbian Americans in love with a foreign partner must endure and struggle to overcome due to discriminatory US immigration laws.

“The Freedom Award is both an honor and an encouragement to keep fighting the good fight. It’s very thrilling to have the film out and speaking for the many thousands of American gays and lesbians who happen to love people from beyond our national borders,” said filmmaker Cordoba, who is originally from Argentina and learned first-hand about the difficulties same-sex binational couples face in the US when he fell in love with an American. The limited options for staying together in the US when the foreign partner’s visa runs out led Cordoba to follow the stories of seven same-sex binational couples.

The film’s title perhaps says it all. In spite of the challenges, disappointments and legal hurdles and setbacks these couples face, they remain committed to staying together “Through Thick and Thin”.

According to Out4Immigration (, an international grassroots organization that advocates to end discrimination in US immigration policy affecting gay and lesbian American citizens and their foreign partners, current US immigration law only allows American citizens or permanent residents to sponsor immediate family members for green cards. Immediate family is defined as parent, child, sibling or spouse. The word “spouse” cannot legally be used by gays and lesbians at the federal level-where immigration law is decided-and as a result, same-sex binational couples in the US have severely limited options for legally staying together.

“OUTFEST’s Freedom Award for Through Thick and Thin is a milestone event in our efforts to bring attention to this issue,” said Doug Haxall from Out4Immigration, who co-presented the film. “For too long, same-sex couples have been forced to choose between their country and their partners. Sebastian’s movie shows us the needless pain and suffering caused by this inhumane policy. Out4Immigration is proud to support Sebastian and his film and we will be at every screening we possibly can to tell our personal stories and to talk about the Uniting American Families Act.”

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) is the one glimmer of hope on the horizon for same-sex binational couples in the United States. The legislation, introduced in Congress by Rep. Jerrold Nadler and in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy earlier this year, would add three words to current US immigration law that could end the tremendous difficulties faced by an estimated 36,000 binational couples currently living in the US. These three words, “or permanent partner” would be added wherever the word “spouse” appears. It would bring the US in line with the 19 other countries worldwide that recognize gay and lesbian relationships for immigration purposes.


Out4Immigration addresses the widespread discriminatory impact of US immigration laws on the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV+ people and their families through education, outreach, advocacy and the maintenance of a resource and support network. For more information, visit To schedule
interviews with same-sex binational couples who are available to speak with the media on this issue, including Spanish-speaking couples, please contact Amos Lim, amos (at) at 415-375-3765.

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