Vt. married lesbian couple may be split up by feds - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. married lesbian couple may be split up by feds

Frances Herbert Frances Herbert
Takako Ueda Takako Ueda

Dummerston, Vermont - December 21, 2011

A Dummerston couple is fighting to stay together because the federal government is splitting them apart.

Frances Herbert and Takako Ueda have been together for more than a decade and they got married in April. But immigration officials sent the couple a letter this month saying Takako must return to Japan because she overstayed her visa.

Vermont state law says the couple is married. But the federal Defense of Marriage Act bans benefits for gay couples, including immigration.

This summer the couple spoke with CNN about being forced apart.

"This is my family I have established for 11 years with Frances and our little dogs and cat and home in beautiful nature," Takako Ueda said.

"It will feel really, really criminal-- just because we're two women. That's all," Frances Herbert said.

This year the Obama administration said it would stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court. But some deportations have continued.

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