A married lesbian couple has complained to the media after being forced to declare themselves as non-family members in order to enter the United States for a vacation.
Karen-Mary Perry and Andrina Perry were married back in 2008, and typically fill out a single US customs form whenever they travel. The forms indicate that “only one written declaration per family is required.” This time, however, they were forced to fill out the forms separately.
A spokesperson for US Customs and Border Protection said that they’re legally prohibited to recognize any same-sex marriages on official government forms due to the bizarrely titled Defense of Marriage Act, which passed in 1996. Canadian customs forms indicate that up to four people who live at the same address can share a form.
Personally, I find travelling to the states is a little like visiting a slightly slow relative. It’s generally nice to see them, even if they’re kind of backwards and a bit crazy. You just need to make a few concessions here and there because they’re genuinely catching on, albeit at a, uh, relaxed pace. (The latest statistics show slight majority support for equal marriage rights down there, and the number of states that recognize same-sex marriage is growing.)
Still, until they’re fully caught up, just add separate customs forms to the long list of other inconveniences you have to take care of when entering the US—like having to purchase temporary health insurance; opting for physical pat-downs or being bombarded by X-ray scanners upon entry; and just tolerating the overall atmosphere of paranoia.
Think of it as living like a local, or—if you prefer—travelling backwards in time. Also, considering we sent them Celine Dion once upon a time, it’s probably not that bad of a price to pay, right?