Moving abroad is better when it’s a choice, not a last resort. On May 19, the day this 32-year-old Republican wunderkind was to be sworn in for his fourth term, J.W. Lown resigned. The outgoing mayor of San Angelo, a sheep ranching town in West Texas, explained that he was in love with a man who was an illegal immigrant and that they were both heading for Mexico.
They moved abroad because there’s no legal way for them to remain together in the U.S. Unlike heterosexual couples, they can’t marry and then apply for a green card for the foreign spouse. An estimated 36,000 Americans are in the same boat, says Immigration Equality, an advocacy group.
“I left a home,” said Lown. “I left a ranch. I left a promising political career.” Lown, whose mother was Mexican, holds dual citizenship allowing him to live legally in Mexico.