From Zack Ford over at ThinkProgress:
The Department of Homeland Security announced today that same-sex families will soon be able to cross the border together, filing just one form for all “members of a family residing in one household.”
Departmental policy at Homeland Security currently specifies married couples and families headed by married couples as being allowed to fill out a single form. Due to the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government is prohibited from recognizing the legal marriages of same-sex couples, meaning that America’s borders are being used to erase our families.
Ford notes that the proposed change will undergo a series of reviews and be open to public comment before it takes effect.
My husband and I filled out a single customs form when we re-entered the United States in 2009 after spending three months backpacking in Europe. We watched straight couples breeze through the border checkpoint at New York’s JFK Airport with ease, but when our turn came, we were told that we did not qualify as a family and consequently needed to fill out two forms. When we protested, citing the fact that our legal marriage was recognized in a handful of U.S. states, we were taken by a rather surly customs official into another room and grilled. We nearly missed our connecting flight as a result. I cannot imagine how many times this kind of dehumanizing degradation has been repeated at entry points around the United States.
This proposed change is a very important one whose time has come and I applaud the Obama administration for taking yet another step to affirm the basic human dignity of LGBT people, couples, and families.
h/t: Jeremy Hooper