In This Country…

Leading up to the SCOTUS rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 I was slightly obsessed. I checked the SCOTUS blog as soon as I got to work each morning and every day, only to find out they weren’t going to be announced that day. Finally, the day was set. I made sure I came to work early so that I wouldn’t be biking to work unplugged during the announcement. If she didn’t think so before, my boss surely thinks I’m a weirdo now. I explained to her the day before that I was going to be listening to Sen. Wendy Davis filibuster the out of control gynoticians in Texas and their short-sighted, over the top restrictive anti-woman, anti-family, anti-child legislation while I promised to work feverishly to make up for accidentally paying too much attention to Davis’ speech.

After staying up WAY too late (it was so worth it) and waking up early to get to work in time, I barely made it. I pulled up the SCOTUS blog right before it was announced. The text messages started rolling in and didn’t stop all day. We cried, we laughed, we celebrated, and we talked about getting legally married. Even though we live in a state that will never recognize same sex marriage (until the feds say they have to) it was a great day. The best word I can use to describe my feelings about it is relief. I felt relief that it will change, and SOON. I made a bet with my wife 2 years ago that our marriage would be recognized in the state we lived (assumed to be Utah) within 10 years. Wifey said no way no how. I, the always optimist, said just you wait. The wager: a honeymoon in Fiji to celebrate our legal marriage. I’ve got 8 years to win that trip and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

This back story has a point I promise. We just went to Mexico for a week. It was amazing, beautiful, fun, and much needed.  On the way back home we had to fill out our customs forms of course, one per family. I insisted that we just fill one out, since we are a family and all. I know they don’t ask hetero couples to bring their marriage license. Jamie was not so excited about the idea of being an activist. We were flying into Texas, home of George Dubya and the newest anti-woman legislation. I insisted because I refuse to let anyone define my family and especially to say that we are not a family. We waited forever in line and finally we were up and this is basically how the conversation went:

Customs: What’s the nature of your relationship?

Jamie: We are married

Customs: Well you should know that this country doesn’t consider you a family

Jamie: I’m sure you have heard of DOMA and how it was just ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court

Customs: It doesn’t matter, it will take years for it be implemented down here

Jamie: Well then we are sisters

Customs: You would still need two forms (as he stamps our passports) Welcome Home.

Seriously. Of course all of the witty comebacks came after we left and were fuming. I didn’t expect a big gay parade or anything. I expected surprise, but not hostility and certainly didn’t expect to be told that my country doesn’t consider us a family. I know it’s better than it was, even 5 years ago, and I know that honeymoon in Fiji will happen but I get tired of the implicit and explicit discrimination, outing, and just plain hatred we have to deal with.

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One thought on “In This Country…

  1. Thanks for following my blog! Your post above illustrates the fundamental problem with this country. Despite the death of DOMA, individual states do not consider our family units family. Jade and I just returned from Barcelona and when going through customs in Miami, we encountered a similar situation. It’s frustrating. I look forward to the day when there is true marriage equality in this country. And good luck on the baby making! I look forward to following your story.

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