Somers Teacher, Husband Await Supreme Court's Marriage Act Ruling

SOMERS, N.Y. – Somers Middle School teacher Gary Wanderlingh married his husband four years ago in what they consider both the worst and best time of their lives, he told USA Today.

Somers teacher Gary Wanderlingh and his husband Sam Conlon thank supporters on their YouTube Channel. Photo Credit: theuglybirdhouse
Gary Wanderlingh and Sam Conlon, who live in New Fairfield, Conn., were married in 2011.
Gary Wanderlingh and Sam Conlon, who live in New Fairfield, Conn., were married in 2011. Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Ugly Birdhouse

As the couple, who live New Fairfield, Conn., await the Supreme Court’s decision to declare whether the 17-year-old Defense of Marriage Act was constitutional, Wanderlingh must wait to sponsor his husband’s immigration to the United States.

The 44-year-old art teacher at Somers Middle School married Sam Conlon in 2011; since then, Conlon has lived with Wanderlingh without the legal status to work or drive, USA Today reported.

The Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996, prohibits Wanderlingh from claiming Conlon as his spouse for immigration purposes.  Conlon attempted to receive a visa by moving his fitness business to the U.S., but that plan was mishandled by an immigration lawyer who was ordered last month to pay the couple $1 million in damages, according to the USA Today report.

The impending Supreme Court Case is the last chance the couple has, with the worst-case scenario forcing them to move to England – where their Connecticut marriage license would be honored – and leaving behind Wanderlingh’s job, pension, family and pets, the report said.

Wanderlingh and Conlon maintain a blog, called The Ugly Birdhouse, to keep supporters updated with their story.

To read the full story, visit USA Today.

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