If you had a gay best friend would you marry him/her to save their life?
Liza Monroy was terrified that her gay best friend would be sent back to the Middle East after his student visa expired. Monroy decided to go to extreme lengths to keep in the United States and marry him.
Her best friend, Emir, was out of the closest in the US, but not back home in the Middle East. Homosexuals are seen as an abomination in the Middle East. Emir heard stories about gays being beaten and left to die on the side of the road because they were gay. His mother confronted him before leaving for America, asking him to never reveal this secret about him to his father. His mother believed that if he had, his father would disown Emir along with divorcing his mother just because he was gay.
Living in Boston, Emir could be himself. Unfortunately, Emir’s student visa was going to end in December 2011, leaving him in a big predicament. Then 9/11 happened, making it even harder for him to get a job because of his Arabic name and how he looked. He had entered the green card lottery every year since he was a freshman in college, but only had a 1% chance of getting it.
Monroy had looked at Emir like the brother she had never had; she loved him like a brother. On Halloween night, Monroy asked Emir to marry her. The two got married in Vegas a month later.
After living together for two years, the two had to go into an interview so Emir could get his green card. The two got called back for another interview, making them both incredibly nervous. Luckily, Emir received an email before the second interview informing him that he had won the green card lottery. The two moved on from one another, still remaining best friends but living separate lives rather than a married one.
The two eventually got divorced. Emir is currently a working US citizen and Monroy moved on to get married. She has written a memoir about her unique experience, “The Marriage Act: The Risk I Took To Keep My Best Friend.”
So if you were in Monroy’s situation, what would you do? Would you break the law and risk the $25,000 fine plus 10 years in prison to help your best friend out?