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Gay Iraqi Soldiers That Fled the Middle East Get a Surprise from Ellen

Gay Iraqi Soldiers That Fled the Middle East Get a Surprise from Ellen

Nayyef, Btoo, Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres

“Believe me… love wins.”

Imagine the worst thing that's ever happened to you on a date or in a relationship. Now check your privilege and realize that for some people, like Nayyef and Btoo, making one misstep during courtship or letting a single wrong word slip out of their mouths could mean literal torture or death.

The couple, both former Iraqi soldiers, met in 2004 during the Iraq War. What started as Btoo inviting Nayyef to eat with him a few times quickly turned into them sharing every meal together. But the couple, who were both raised in households and society that perceives homosexuality as a disease, knew they couldn't remain in their home country and be happy.

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"It's too difficult to be gay in Iraq," said Nayyef, who applied for asylum in the United States. Though Nayyef was accepted, he had to wait a lonely four years before Btoo would also be approved for asylum. During that the time the two skyped every single day, and when they were finally reunited Nayyef didn't waste any time before he proposed."

"Believe me," said Btoo, "after that, love wins." Watch the couples heartwarming Ellen appearance, below.

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Dennis Hinzmann