The Sunday Star-Times (via Stuff) reported that the longtime aide to former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Heather Simpson, has married her partner, Sue Veart, in a civil union at their home in Wellington. Clark, whose government created civil unions, did not attend.
The article talked about Simpsons political power during Clark’s Labour-led government, before moving on to how Simpson had her “arm twisted” to work for Clark at the United Nations in New York City. Apparently Veart recently left her job so she could join Simpson.
The article said: “One acquaintance said she believed the civil union would make it easier for Veart to live in the US.” Personally, I doubt that’s true, given Simpson’s well-known political nous. She would know that no foreign or domestic legal recognition of same-sex relationships—whether civil unions or marriages—are recognised by the US Government for any purpose whatsoever, including immigration. The couple could’ve held a Tupperware party, because it would make no more difference to American authorities than their civil union will.
All of which goes to show—yet again—that GLBT people, even ones who were powerful in their home countries—are still seen and treated as second-class in the United States. Sugarcoat it all you like, but America is not a land of equality or equal opportunity for all its citizens or legal residents. This is just another example of why it isn’t.