As it stands, gay couples must file separate Customs forms when re-entering America. If they have children together, the process can become especially complex.
But now, reports Instinct Magazine, U.S. Homeland Security may be heading toward reform:
The notoriously stiff-upper-lipped department has proposed that the definition of “members of a family residing in one household” be expanded to include same-sex couples.
Well, sort of. The proposal spends a hilarious amount of time circumventing the progressive social stance at its core, sort of trying to define gay marriage by listing everything it's not. Quite a ridiculous dance:
CBP is proposing to include foster children, stepchildren, halfsiblings, legal wards, other dependents, and individuals with an in loco parentis or guardianship relationship within the definition of “members of a family residing in one household.” CBP also is proposing that the definition include two adult individuals in a committed relationship wherein the partners share financial assets and obligations, and are not married to, or a partner of, anyone else, including, but not limited to, long-time companions, and couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships. This NPRM proposes to add these relationships to the definition of “members of a family residing in one household” and refer to them as “domestic relationships.” The proposed term “domestic relationship” would not extend to roommates or other cohabitants not otherwise meeting the above definition. Additionally, the proposed changes would not alter the residency requirements that, in order to file a family declaration, members of a family residing in one household must live together in one household at their last permanent residence and intend to live together in one household after their arrival in the United States.
Officials also argue that the reason for this change is not to make life fair/easy for same-sex couples, but instead to “reduce the amount of paperwork” and “facilitate passenger processing” on the feds' end.
So, yeah — the proposal doesn't exactly read like a Prop. 8 screenplay.
But it's better than nothing. The proposal admits that LGBT partners have been taking a financial hit for traveling separately (though certainly not by choice), and says this reform will allow “the aggregation of duty allowances” on all the crap they bring back to America.
Because everyone deserves to pay the same for their wormy TJ tequila at the San Ysidro border crossing. Amen.