I made a serious commitment to protect the ones I love and my home by joining the US Air Force. However it was not made clear to me until very recently that LGBT couples do not get the same treatment as heterosexual couples or ANY of the benefits. They even go as far as to perminently restrict their husband or wife from coming on base where as a heterosexual person's husband or wife is allowed. The only reason I didn't know this is because the Cpt running the contracts skipped over the section stating that because DOMA is part of the US Constitution it is enforced, because he thought I "didn't look like your average homosexual".
My boyfriend of four years was less than thrilled when he found out about it. He was already very irritated with the American Government and was seriously considering moving back to England. Well he is extremly stubborn and once he gets his mind set on something he goes through with it, and since his plane back to Birmingham leaves on August 1st I have just about two weeks to stop him.
I've never felt so horrible in my entire life... first my parents throw me on the streets, then I sign away eight years of my life to a government that treats me as a second-class citizen even though I was born here, and now this. The only person who was there for me when I tried to kill myself is leaving me for good.
I'm so sorry that you are in this very difficult position. First let me say that I am very grateful for the service you are giving to this country; I know most other Americans feel the same way. But that doesn't help you with the feeling of being a second class citizen; it must be painful to know that while you are doing everything you can to defend this country, you have the feeling the country has let you down.
You mentioned you had previously considered suicide; I hope that you are not at the place now, but if you are, or you have such feelings in the future, please remember you can call 1-866-488-7386 at any time, day or night, and speak to someone who cares and will help.
The laws are changing, though we'd all like that change to happen faster. Things are much better now for the LGBT community than they were 30 years ago, and we've seen that progress starting to speed up in the past year; but I realize that doesn't help you with your immediate problem. Four years is a very long time to be together, and of course it would be painful for you to be separated, and I can understand how you want to do whatever you can to keep him here with you. It sounds from what you said that there were other things that also made your boyfriend unhappy with living here. Is there anything to be done about those issues? If not, perhaps you can research the many lawsuits that are trying to overturn DOMA now. While nothing is certain, it's possible that DOMA will be gone within a year, and that would really change your situation. Would he think about staying, or perhaps coming back when DOMA is overturned? Perhaps he would be willing to use that justifiable anger and frustration to help overturn the law? There are many ways to get involved to help make that change happen.
It might also help if you and he can research online resources like http://outservemag.com/ - a magazine for gay and lesbian military. They also have an organization - http://outserve.org. The Badge Society http://www.badgesociety.com/ is another online forum that may have some helpful advice for couples in your situation. And you can always contact us again at the Trever Project.