Mike Ruiz’s latest cause hits home.
It’s a job in itself trying to keep up with celebrity A-List couple Mike Ruiz and Martin Berusch. Since wrapping up on the last season of the hit Logo reality series "A-List: New York," Ruiz popped the inevitable question to Berusch in the show’s finale and then announced that both he and his beau wouldn’t be coming back when the show returns.
The two have kept themselves in the headlines through their various charitable efforts. The fashion forward Ruiz released the coffee table photo essay "Pretty Masculine" which was designed to benefit GMHC. Berusch has become a most-visible advocate speaking on behalf of parents facing Parental Alienation. This is very close to him since Berusch has been in the midst of a continuing custody battle with his ex-wife who has denied him his proper rights as a parent, on the basis that he is gay and in a relationship with Ruiz.
Yes, there is a lot on both of their plates, but in-between the celebrity photo shoots, front row seats during Fashion Week, and countless appearances, the two have come together in defense of a mutual friend Allan Spyere who is facing deportation to his native Brazil - despite being married to his American husband. Spyere has called the United States home for many years, but is facing deportation by the INS (Immigration and Natural Services).
Both Ruiz and Berusch have appealed to the community, especially as intense reactions from the Right Wing continue to impact discriminatory legislation like "The Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), which threatens our civil rights and continues to second-rate members of the LGBT community who are constitutionally guaranteed equal rights.
Citing Ruiz’s appeal to both Congresswoman Susan Davis and to City Council member Todd Gloria, Ruiz, himself a naturalized US citizen, spoke eloquently and accurately on his outrage at Spyere’s issue with immigration.
"It has come to my attention that despite the fact that Mr. Spyere is married to an American citizen, he is faced with deportation to his native country, Brazil. The issue at hand is that Mr. Spyere is married to his husband - a marriage, although legal in the State of California, it is not federally recognized union. Hence, Mr. Spyere is caught in a bureaucratic dilemma regarding his status as an alien in this country and is at risk for imminent deportation." - Mike Ruiz
This dilemma is similarly being faced by many members of our community, because of the vague interpretation of the laws protecting marriage equality and us. It is also important to note that until proper attention is brought to protecting our rights and those of our partners, our civil rights are always a target and easily denied.