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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Legal Homophobia Does Its Dirty Job

So, remember the Miami International Airport gay harassment incident? Well, after some eight months, it's finally been resolved, and not to our satisfaction, and not with Homeland Security's assistance. Instead, I had to work my way through several gay rights organizations until I got to Equality Florida. I began complaining officially the day after it happened, which was the day we got home, which was also the day after the Hilton shuttle incident, which, by the way, still isn't resolved, either, so that wiull make yet another blog entry.

For months, from July through December, I e-mailed tham and snail-mailed them documents and forms and letters. They pretended they hadn't gotten them even though I had proof of receipt. They passed it around until finally I said, fine, next stop is Secretary Napolitano, registered mail. She sent it to the duty stuckee who made up a bunch of craptastic garbage and sent it back, including two letters dated a month apart, in the same envelope, but with no support for his claims. I pursued him like the hounds of hell through mid-December, with the warning that, if I had nothing by January 15, I would start with the gay rights groups.

Surpise, no response again, so I went to PFAW (nothing) and Human Rights Campaign, who responded with nothing but a list of still more groups, so I worked my way through those. Several couldn't be reached electronically. Most didn't bother to respond. I was at the bottom of the list when an earlier one suddenly came to lfe. This was Equality Florida. In less than two days, one of their lawyers discovered the following homophobic policy, backed up by DOMA:


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According to CBP, their current policy requires that people be related by blood, marriage or adoption in order to file a joint declaration, and that only different-sex marriages are recognized.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/441/~/travelers-eligible-to-file-a-joint-declaration-on-a-cbp-form-6059b


In case the link doesn't work, here's the relevant bigotry:


Who is eligible to file a joint declaration on a CBP Form 6059B? A joint declaration can be filed on a CBP Form 6059B by persons who meet the following three conditions:

1. Are related by blood, marriage*, or adoption;
2. Lived together in one household at their last permanent residence; and

3. Intend to live together in one household after their arrival in the United States. This is in accordance with 19CFR148.34(b).


* The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage for the purposes of federal law as a union between one man and one woman. The CBP form 6059 is a federal document, and as such is subject to Federal law. While individual states may have different definitions of marriage, state law does not determine procedures and policy in a federal environment.


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So until DOMA is dead, they are allowed to crap on us. The funny thing is, we have been re-entering the US as a family since 1995. Most agents don't even blink. So we think this one troublemaker is the sort of hate-mongering zealot who would vote for Rick Santorum. We will continue trying to re-enter as a couple just to make them work a little harder, until DOMA is gone. But we're willing to bet we won't encounter this stuff again, because it's a pointless regulation that simply doesn't need to be enforced. If it did, they would do it all the time.

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