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While we were away: After our plane safely landed, U.S.'s hijacked equality came crashing down

by Jeremy Hooper


: JFK International Airport, 6/26/09, approximately 11:45 PM. Two youngish, recently married boys are eager to return to their home state after a glorious two week honeymoon. They approach the customs desk, joint household form in hand.

Customs officer: Good evening.

Andrew & Jeremy: 'Evening.

(Andrew hands customs form to official)

Customs officer (to Jeremy): Where's your form?

Jeremy: We're married. It's a joint household form.

Customs officer: No, you need two forms.

Andrew: What? We're married. Our marriage is recognized in this state.

Customs officer: No, that's not [mumbles something unintelligible]

Jeremy: They specifically told us in Dublin that this is what we need. One form per household.

(Official thinks for a moment)

Customs officer: Well, I'll stamp it. If they say anything to you at the next gate, just tell them you're brothers.

Andrew & Jeremy: WHAT?!? NO!

Jeremy: That is not something I will ever do.

Customs officer: Well, you, uhm...

Jeremy: No. End of story. I am not lying and saying that my HUSBAND is my BROTHER! Would you suggest the same to a heterosexual couple?

Customs officer (dismissively handing back form): Well, good luck to ya.



As if the current state of plane travel is not stressful enough?! We have to go through bomb-sniffing dogs, shoe removal, He's Just Not That Into as the plane movie, and this too?! AH-nnoying!

For the record: The burly officer at the next gate took our form without even batting an eye. He wished our household a good night and sent us on our way. Benignly. Kindly. Non-Controversially. The way it should be.

**SORTA RELATED: Gay couples can use married names on passports [AP via 365]

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Your thoughts

Welcome back guys! SO glad you're back, I was going into withdrawal. Congrats on the recent marriage!

Posted by: T E | Jun 28, 2009 2:52:44 PM

Thats awesome you two stood up for yourselves

Posted by: Andrew | Jun 28, 2009 8:25:27 PM

Wow. That sucks. But as usual you make it sound funny. Good for you for standing up for yourself!

Posted by: Pomo | Jun 28, 2009 9:53:06 PM

I'm glad you ultimately got through OK, but this is part of what is so awful about DOMA. Regardless of the laws of the state an airplane lands in, CBP officials are Federal employees, and DOMA sez: No... Gay... Marriage...

The same thing would happen to me if I were to fill out a green card application with a husband.

I seem to remember something about the first Canadian same-sex couple being invited to speak at a conference in Hilton Head or Savannah, and they were not allowed into the US on one card. Since the whole point of their coming to the conference was to talk about being a married couple, they contacted the organizers and decided to withdraw.

Sounds like you guys had a rad honeymoon. Congratulations, you guys!

Posted by: DN | Jun 29, 2009 9:39:11 AM

DN: Yes, the first Canadian couple had a very similar experience. Others have shared similar experiences over the years.

As for DOMA and whatnot: I'm not sure that's the standard here, is it? While it's true that federal law doesn't recognize our marriage, our right to share a form seems to extend beyond just federal recognition of our marriage. Many other arrangements are allowed through on one form (like the aforementioned "brothers"), with "family" seemingly undefined. And the person who gave us the form in Dublin assured us that we, as one household, only needed one form.

It seems murky, which is probably why in some instances we got no pause and in others got such offensive treatment. And of course it's all the more reason why we have to rid the world of the insidious DOMA so that we can stop the insidious DOGMA.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 29, 2009 9:52:42 AM

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