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It’s dangerous to be a lesbian in St. Maarten, and same-sex marriage is illegal. Carla had few options for reuniting with Cecily, the love of her life. Immigration Equality advocated fiercely for her and succeeded.

Carla, Cecily, and Adaliza

Since the first day I met my wife, Cecily, we’ve been inseparable. 

We fell in love when she was in a U.S. Navy training program, visiting St. Maarten on vacation. At the time, she was awaiting active duty deployment in Japan, so after she left, I feared I would never see her again. 

It’s dangerous to be a lesbian in St. Maarten, and it’s illegal for us to marry there. I had few options for reuniting with Cecily in the U.S. before it was too late. Desperate to see her, I called Immigration Equality for help. 

They gave us free legal services, advocated fiercely for us to be together, and succeeded! I made it to the U.S. in time to start my life with Cecily before she was deployed.  

I can’t imagine my life without her, and I don’t want any immigrant to fear being separated from their loved ones. 

Fast forward to five years later, and we have a beautiful two-year-old daughter, Adaliza. She’s the other love of my life and keeps me going when Cecily is out at sea.   

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