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.


Sam said...

This makes me so happy :D

janinsanfran said...

This is sweet. Over the last two years, my little parish community has lost two different couples because the gov't. wasn't recognizing their relationships and consequently they chose to leave the country to be together.

LBGT folks in trans-national couples is a small group, but one now on the way to a happier outcomes.

Rachel said...

Aw, congrats to your friends!

Kennel Vimax said...

Wishing Don and Ray a happy life.