The DOMA Project launched a short film series on their website featuring bi-national married couples in the LGBT community who are facing the consequences of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The series has recently gained some national attention because of a video starring the self-proclaimed “golden girls” Judy Rickard and her wife Karin Bogliolo.
One of the founders Lavi Soloway, who is also Rickard and Boliolo’s attorney, said the DOMA Project, in collaboration with the DeVote Campaign, spent the last year traveling to Florida, New York, California and North Carolina finding bi-couples who have been split up due to the current legislation.
“We hope that people realize the enormous and essentially catastrophic impact this Act has on families,” Soloway told 429Magazine. “It is important for us to show a very diverse and wide range of couples by going on their day to day life and, with the risk of losing a visa, just seeing how they cope with that and how strong their love for each other is.”
DOMA is the law that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman for all federal purposes.
Rickard, 65, and Soloway got in touch after Rickard wrote a book called “Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law,” about her and her wife’s struggle as a couple. Soloway described their work together as a “natural collaboration.”
Bogliolo, 73, spent most of her young life in England. She met and fell in love with Rickard, a San Jose, California native, in 2005. The two then became domestic partners in 2007 and were married in the state of Vermont in 2011.
The couple faced their first discriminating experience in 2008, when at the San Francisco International Airport, Bogliolo was taken to a back room, questioned, and told she had been coming to the States too often and she couldn’t come back for a while.
Rickard retired early to spend more time with her wife. In their video, the couple calls themselves “old broads” and “golden girls” who have to settle for a lower income because of DOMA. Bogliolo also discusses her decision to miss her son’s wedding overseas, afraid she would not be allowed to re-enter the US again upon her return.
The couple is currently enjoying a romantic getaway in Stinson Beach, CA. They said The DOMA Project created the best film they’ve seen of themselves. They say they are happy to be a different example of an LGBT couple.
“I hope people who wouldn’t even be exposed to this issue will spread word,” Rickard told 429Magazine about why she thinks the public has taken such a liking to them and their story. “We’re not flaming drag queens and not scantily clad dressed lesbians, and we look like anyone’s grandmothers.”
Bogliolo’s family overseas have awarded her the title of coolest grandmother. When her youngest grandson came out as gay to the pair over a trip to visit them, Bogliolo’s response was, “well let’s bring out the champagne.”
The DOMA Project aims to blend awareness and entertainment in addressing this issue, and hopes to spread personal stories about what such legislation actually does to the individuals and families affected.