Well in theory, yes. This year, Eric and I will travel to Madison, Wisconsin to spend Christmas, New Years, and my Parents 50th wedding anniversary with my family. THAT part of the trip, actually “being home” for the holidays is fine. We both are really looking forward to time with family and friends back in the United States. That’s not the problem.
Because of the ridiculously mis-named “Defence of Marriage Act” (or DOMA) , the Federal Government is barred from recognizing Eric as my Spouse, despite the fact that we are legally married in the United Kingdom. So the Department of Homeland Security must treat Eric not as part of my family, but instead as just some non-American guy who is travelling with me.
Eric will get to the little booth and hand his landing card and passport to the Agent. Now, let me explain why both of us tend to get very stressed at this point. Eric is a Malaysian Citizen permanently living in the UK. He isn’t British, but is travelling from Britain, his passport is Malaysian (an Islamic country) but he isn't Malay or Muslim. He is Chinese, and Buddhist. His landing card says he is visiting the United States to see his in-laws in Wisconsin. But he isn’t in the US Citizen / Permanent Resident line with his “spouse”. All of this, often will mystify and confuse the US border agent.
All because the U.S. Federal Government (which happily taxes me to support the Dept. of Homeland Security,) can’t treat us the way the British Government, treats us, as a married couple. Thanks to DOMA
How would you feel if; 1) In order to even be with, let alone marry the person you love, you had to move overseas. Then; 2) every time you wanted to visit your family, it was entirely possible that based on nothing more than a border agent’s mood, (not for any logical reason, evidence or probable cause), your husband or wife could be detained for hours, or even barred from entering the country.
All for no other reason, than the basic legal protections other married couples enjoy, we are denied, because the Republican Party needs to keep Gay and Lesbian Americans as the one group they can still legally hate, and discriminate against.
Welcome to our world, Happy Holidays. To our friends and family back in the States, we are looking forward to (hopefully) seeing you soon.
Dave & Eric