In 2007, Otts' work visa was set to expire. He needed to leave the country, and his partner Ken, for a full year in order to qualify for another visa. But there was no guarantee that he could return. Two weeks before leaving, they asked their friends to answer some questions on camera: why was this happening? What would Ken and Otts' absence mean to you?
Luckily, Otts was able to return on another work visa. But it expires in 2014 and they'll have to go through the same ordeal again of uprooting their lives and leaving everything behind without knowing for sure if they can return. With same-sex couples excluded from immigration reform, Ken and Otts, along with 36,000 other same-sex binational couples, are waiting on the Supreme Court to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If that happens, they will be able to marry and Ken can sponsor Otts to stay, just as straight couple have always been able to do.
You can find them on Twitter @7ofKen and @ottsatwork. #WhereIsHome.
Listen to a local NPR story on Ken and Otts: kuow.org/post/gay-couples-see-new-hope-immigration-benefits