About a month ago Girlfriend and I went on a vacation to Florida. This was to celebrate Girlfriend's graduation, as well as to pass the time until she heard back from med school with regards to her acceptance (side note: she was accepted).
We travel quite often, usually taking at least one major trip a year. We've been to Florida together before, as well as Cuba, London, and Amsterdam. And, since we live together, we fill out one customs form.
However on this trip we were told that the US doesn't recognize our relationship. I realize that they don't have the same enlightened legislation we enjoy in Canada, but I was confused: this happened while we were still in Canada. We were at Pearson Airport in Toronto. Sure, we were going through US customs, but we were still in Canada.
Let's look at what he said: the US doesn't recognize same sex relationships. That is incorrect. Sure, as a whole the US doesn't allow for same sex marriage. But there are currently 6 states that do (New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire). Several other states recognize civil partnerships between same sex couples. (**note, there are 23 states that allow first cousins to marry)
In contrast, Canada was the 4th country in the world to legalize same sex marriage.
There are other things to look at than just gay marriage:
- In the US there are still states where it's illegal for gays and lesbians to adopt children
- the US now allows openly gay people to serve in the military; this is as of 2011. In Canada it's been since 1992
- There are at least 19 states without any protection for LGBT employees (meaning, you can be hired/fired based on your orientation)
- The Boy Scouts of America is allowed to exclude people from the organization based on sexual orientation
- Sodomy was illegal in some states until 2003
Although we enjoyed our vacation to the US, it was still very nice to return home to Canada where our relationship is recognized.
In closing, two things. First, this wonderful quote from "Dear Abby", in response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighbourhood:
"You could move." - Abigail Van Buren, "Dear Abby"
And finally, this: