Saturday, July 05, 2014
Fourth of July Fiance Visa
Jim Horn above helped arrange a welcoming party at the Palm Springs Airport on the Fourth of July for a pair of friends who were returning from Australia.
Don Watkins, on the right above, and Ray Hatfield have been partners for a number of years but since Watkins lives in Rancho Mirage and Hatfield is Australian, actually living together has been problematic, with one American customs official recently threatening Hatfield with a quick expulsion back to his home country if he ever saw him again.
In the 1980s, I was in a long-distance relationship for five years with a Canadian. The worst moments were always at American customs in the Calgary airport, returning to San Francisco. One time my partner had slipped a sweet, goofy love note into my luggage, and I remember the customs agent taking it out and reading it slowly out loud with a big smirk and a look of utter contempt on his face. The experience did not make me particularly proud to be an American.
With California recently legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, a lot of these horrors seem to be headed for history's dustbin.
On this trip, Hatfield was able to enter the country on a "fiance" visa good for three months, and the wedding is scheduled for September 20th. Congratulations to the happy couple and to California courts for finally allowing this to happen.