Tom (Thailand) and Bill (U.S.)

Posted on April 28, 2010. Filed under: Stories - from other sites | Tags: , , , , , |

My name is Bill, and my spouse’s name is Tom. I’m using fictitious names, because I’m afraid Tom will be excluded from visiting the US if Immigration finds out that we have had a relationship for thirteen years, and that we were married in San Francisco in February 2004. You see, I am an American, and Tom is a Thai citizen. US Immigration will consider the fact the we were married as grounds for his exclusion on the basis that he might not intend to leave!

Unable to settle together in the USA, Tom and I have been living together in Thailand for over ten years now. We’ve become part of a local community in the north of the country. We have local families over for a day-long Christmas party every year, we contribute to the local Buddhist temple, and we pay for some students to attend a local grade school and university.

We’re financially well-off. Tom has a successful business exporting Thai handicrafts. I trade plastic parts made in China.

We’re happy in Thailand. We live in a country that has a culture in which our relationship is accepted by folks in cities and rural communities alike. It’s a good life.

There is a cloud over our heads, though. You see, my parents are now in their eighties, and it’s time for Tom and I to go care for them. What can we do? Mom and Dad live in the Midwest. America doesn’t recognize Tom’s right to come with me to care for them. My parents consider him as much a part of our family as I am, but my government considers him a stranger.

If the US recognized same-sex relationships like ours for the purpose of immigration, it would make for stronger families. The current policy keeps families apart for no logical reason. Just because it can, the US government tells me I must choose between the man I have built a life with and the parents who have raised me selflessly.

Religious leaders and politicians who profess to be pro-family should be the first to support America joining other countries who recognize that families come in many flavors, and that love strengthens families, doesn’t destroy them.

America, help keep our family together by allowing couples in committed same-sex relationships the same immigration rights as married couples.

My parents will thank you for it.

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3 Responses to “Tom (Thailand) and Bill (U.S.)”


I am so tried of this. Gays are not allowed to adopt but yet the Teens having babies seems to be the Norm.And guess who takes care of not only the child but also the Mother. 2 people love each other are restricted. Because they are the same sex. So What! If either a single parent, or a Hetro family or even a Gay couple can give a child a Happy Home, THAT CHILD deserves a home. How many homes that have a Mom and Dad now a days, make it past 5 or maybe 10 years? Just give a Child a home.

I’m sorry to hear about your situation. You are in my thoughts. Good luck and I hope it all turns out well.

Wow! That is a lot for one to handle much less to read about. Has Tom ever applied for a visa or temp or perm citizenship? Maybe I am misunderstanding the delima….you were married in San Francisco….is it seen there as a legal marriage? I have heard so many times that the law was changed and then heard the law was changed back so I am not sure that is why I asked. I guess some of us do not know how US Immigration looks at the whole picture…but yes it is sad that you and your spouse cannot be together during the time your parents need you the most. Have you contacted any authorities just to inquire?

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