Citizen helps gay married couple win battle to live together in Milton Keynes

A Milton Keynes Citizen fix-it has helped save the marriage of a gay couple forced to live 4,000 miles apart.

British-born Ben Page and his American husband Brian married in the US almost five years ago.

British-born Ben Page and his American husband Brian married in the US almost five years ago.

British-born Ben Page and his American husband Brian married in the US almost five years ago.

But they say they were victims of “crazy bureaucracy” when they applied for permission to live together in Ben’s MK home.

An immigration judge refused 41-year-old Brian’s visa and referred to their four-year-old marriage as a”civil partnership.”

Immigration law also forbade them to live together in the US, so the only option was to live continents apart.

The couple came to the Citizen in desperation last year, having thousands of pounds in saving battling through the courts.

“It’s crazy, because we’re legally married and this government voted to recognise gay marriage. Yet they are forbidding Brian, my legal husband, to stay here,” said Ben, 36, who lives on Oldbrook.

We put the pair in touch with MP Mark Lancaster and asked him to raise the case with the Immigration Minister.

MK South MP Iain Stewart, who is gay himself, also gave his support, saying it seemed “very strange” that the marriage had not been recognised.

This month Ben and Brian made a last-ditch appeal to the Upper Tribunal and the judge had no hesitation in granting Brian permission to stay in the UK.

“We won - and it’s a wonderful feeling. Finally we can settle down and live like any other married couple,” said Brian, who is already being headhunted in the UK for architect jobs.

“We had an amazing barrister, Eric Fripp, who was found through a service called The Advocate, recommended by Mark Lancaster.”

He added: “We’d like to thank Mark and the Citizen for listening to us and helping us end the nightmare we have been through.”