by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
The Obama administration let the clock run out Oct. 23 on helping a Brazilian man who wants to return to Massachusetts to live with his U.S. husband.
Tim Coco and Brazilian Genesio Oliveira married in Massachusetts in 2005 and own a home together in a Boston suburb. Oliveira was sent home in August 2007 after losing an asylum case based on anti-gay persecution he said he experienced in Brazil. He later also lost a case in which he sought to return to the U.S. based on his marriage to Coco. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had until Oct. 23 to overrule that decision on humanitarian grounds. He had been urged to do so by U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
The anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, passed during Bill Clinton’s presidency, prevents the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex spouses for any reason.
President Obama has said repeatedly that he supports DOMA’s repeal and the extension to same-sex couples of every right and obligation of marriage – but he has taken no concrete steps to achieve his stated goals.
Coco and Oliveira have said they may sue the federal government over DOMA in hopes of being reunited.