Sunday, April 12, 2009

No question about where home is

I know I said I wouldn't be around but there's free internet today and I just wanted to share a little travel experience. It was a dreadful 16 hour door to door marathon yesterday with 3 planes and two layovers and a two hour drive at the end. Boy are we pooped! In Toronto, we had to clear US customs and immigration in the airport. We went to fill out the customs card and it said "only one declaration card per family" which I had never noticed before. We sat there debating whether or not we should fill out two cards or one, but trying to follow the instructions and do what we are supposed to do, we filled out one card and approached the officer together. He immediately asked how we were related, and I answered that we were married. The agent said to Serge fairly sternly, "You need to step back behind that line and fill in your own declaration card." I then said simply, "We were only trying to follow the instructions and do what we were supposed to do." To that, the officer said nothing except, "What is the purpose of your trip?" I did note other married couples approaching the immigration officer together.

When we come back to Canada, we always approach the immigration officer together and fill out one card with no BS.

Oh yeah, Happy Easter if you celebrate such things. We will be tooling around Sonoma tasting wines and having some cheese for lunch. Dinner will be at this place.

Later~

27 comments:

Cameron said...

It really makes me mad to hear of this intolerance, especially since you are recognized as being a married couple in Canada.

Change *IS* happening in the US, and more quickly than I ever imagined. But this BS will continue until same-sex marriage is recognized on a federal level.

Have fun wine tasting! I just saw "Bottle Shock" which made me want to go wine tasting. (The film is rather lame, in my opinion, but nicely photographed.)

Breenlantern said...

....and this is one of the many reasons why we love and want to live in Canada. Our marriage isn't questioned when crossing US to CA, yet we are met with scorn and disgust or complete disregard when coming back to US from CA. And we are always questioned because we have the same last name so they want to know if we're brothers which requires a correction/explanation...

Roxrocks said...

Bastards! You should have told him your purpose in going to the US was to spread the word of the gospel according Ru Paul. Of course, being American, he probably would have shot you. (I'm kidding a little.)

I've always wanted to go wine tasting in Sonoma/Napa! It's truly one of my dream vacations.

franck said...

In my fairly extensive experience, US immigration officers are by the far the rudest and most obnoxious in the whole wide world.

Chris in Long Beach said...

The fact is that you were entering the US, where same-sex marriages at a federal level are not allowed (yet). Therefore, you are supposed to obey the US laws. I am sure it's different when you enter Canada, where same-sex marriages are allowed and you can fill out one card per family. It sucks and it's very unfair.

Just be careful with those immigration officers, they could be a$%*#@s as they feel they are divas (however, there are some cute ones here and there).

Brent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brent said...

I get that the laws are different here in the armpit of North America, but I think it is almost staggeringly culture-centric on this country's part to assume that others should know all of our puritanical laws. Would it kill anyone to have another sentence describing what constitutes a "family" for this conservative country? I seriously need to look into how hard it may be to immigrate to Spain or South Africa.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to inform you but the United States of America was founded by religious bigots who fear that if they allow same sex unions all Hell will break loose. Having been taught this all of my life it's a wonder I didn't end it all years ago. The U.S. is turning into Sodom and Gomorrah and if one more same sex couple hugs or kisses fire will come down from the sky and we will turn into a pillar of salt or something. Have a great time but not too great. You wouldn't want to shift the balance of good and evil to the dark side would you? LOL, ed

Lemuel said...

I wonder what they do when the Saudi's come into the US with their bevvy of wives? One card? or a hundred?

Mel said...

When David and I came back from Peru and were going through Customs in Miami, we filled out two cards. The agent then asked us why we didn't just fill out one. No consistency.

latt├ęgirl said...

It must be shiteous being a customs agent. I wouldn't want that job in a million years. Anyway, you made it through, attitude notwithstanding.

wv: coplard. How apropos!

A Lewis said...

Ugh....oh boy. That makes me angry. And sad for you that your marriage was degraded and slapped in the face. Nothing like the good ol' US of A. Except for Canada!

Sunshine said...

Unfortunately, you'd get the same treatment if you arrive on our shores. Australia is far too pro-US to get out of step with the US when it comes to gay marriage. :(

anabel said...

How about a bit of respect and kindness like "Hey, we're sorry about this, but we have to ask you to fill out the second form because of the difference in our marriage laws. Sorry for the inconvenience"

You know - just the slightest bit of some damn consideration!

Rick said...

Enjoy Napa/Sonoma. I'm jealous!

Birdie said...

Keep doing it just the way you did. With enough exposure, maybe the customs agents will realize it's no big deal. Good for you for not losing your cool when it would have been easy to do.

Thanks for remembering us! Now go back to taking a break.

Fatinah said...

America - the land of opportunity, home of the free, the place where people are bathed in freedom of speech...of course, as long as you're not Muslim, you're conforming to the traditional family and you're saying what "they" want to hear. I'm sorry that you can't have even have the priviledge of going through customs with your spousal unit...I hate customs, and get quite stressed - I'd be beside myself if I had to do it with husband behind the yellow line! Have fun on the rest of your jaunt!!

carlnepa said...

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr...that just pisses me off. My partner and I want very much to be married, to have those rights granted so freely to hetero couples but for which we have to pay if we want those same rights. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Well, as a US citizen, I apologize for how you were treated. I don't pay those people to be rude.

GayProf said...

The U.S. remains well behind much of the rest of the industrial world.

TRAVIS said...

"Oh yeah, Happy Easter if you celebrate such things" - such minor things as the cruxification of our Lord and his rising from the dead three day later? Personally I never fell for that crap anyway, it's as real to me as Jonah and the Whale. I hate to disagree with a reader, but Dear Gay Pro - the U.S. IS the industrial world.

Phronk said...

It breaks my heart to hear about crap like that still going on. A short explanation - "sorry for the confusion, we meant family as defined by our country's archaic laws" - would have at least been polite.

Butch said...

Have a great trip!

Mark in DE said...

Yes, another backwards and ineffective process here in the States that does not exist in Canada.

Remember to eat plenty of grapes and prunes along with all that cheese, so as not to clog your plumbing!

bridgeout said...

Wow, another wake-up call! Lewis sent me the link to this post to add perspective to how and why we as gay Americans are 2nd class citizens in our own country! In another 5 years when all our kids are grown, we just may very well move to Canada. Our marriages deserve every bit the recognition and respect that the straight marriages receive.
I think I'll go follow you on Twitter... take care! Have fun in wine country!

Blobby said...

That is pathetic, frustrating, infuriating, and downright annoying all at the same time.

I'd say "laughable' too, but there ain't nothing funny about it. Or aboot it - as you'd probably say now.

dirkmancuso said...

With all the problems facing our country, my mind still boggles at the incredible amount of effort spent making sure the gay segment of the population remains second class citizens.

em said...

Fuckers.

Double fuckers.

I'm not sure how the fact that it's a law here that gay people can have a civil marriage exonerates the border person.

Swear to God, I have lost my temper.