‘Love me if I can’: Australian couple with HIV in the US on honeymoon
Posted On May 25, 2021
A couple who have been together for eight years are in Hawaii, enjoying a honeymoon in a US state where HIV is illegal and where they will face deportation to Australia if they don’t come out.
The Australian couple, who have HIV, have been living in Hawaii for the past eight years but their marriage is not recognised in the Hawaiian culture, despite living together in a common-law marriage in the state.
ABC News contacted the US consulate in Honolulu for comment.
ABC reporter Adam Hirsch has been following the couple for years.
The couple were married on November 1, 2016.
ABC/AAP The couple met at an airport in the city of Honolulu.
They have been married for the last eight years.
They met at the airport in Hawaii on November 9, 2016, a month after being granted a temporary visa.
They were married in Hawaii.
“We have been in Hawaii now for about six months and our marriage has been recognised in Hawaii,” the couple told the ABC.
“It is a state of Hawaii and we have been able to get our marriage recognised by Hawaii.”
The couple said they felt comfortable with the status quo but wanted to have a different experience.
“I have always had a strong sense of pride in Hawaii and I wanted to do something different for Hawaii,” they said.
“Hawaii is a beautiful place, beautiful people and a wonderful culture.
We want to do it for the Hawaiian people and the Hawaiian families, and that is something we are very passionate about.”
The US embassy in Honolulu confirmed it was aware of the case and said the couple were not facing deportation.
“The State Department has been notified and the couple are currently in Hawaii at this time,” it said.
The US Consulate General in Honolulu said the consulate was aware that a couple with a valid marriage certificate had been living together.
“If this couple were in the United States legally, they would be eligible for visas to travel to Hawaii, if their spouse has been granted a visa and their visa is valid,” the consulate said in a statement.
“However, the State Department’s guidance for immigration officials clarifies that in some circumstances the State’s Department of Justice can and will deny a visa for people in the U.S. who have engaged in a pattern of engaging in sexual acts in another country.”
The State Department in Honolulu declined to comment on the case.
“In light of the State department’s guidance, we have not responded to the Consulate’s request for further comment,” the department said.
US embassy spokeswoman Joanne Smith said it was not possible for consular officers to comment publicly on a case under investigation.
“Consular officials are trained to remain silent when matters involve sensitive immigration matters, and when that does not include an embassy, consular officer will refrain from responding to questions about the case,” she said.
ABC’s Ben Ross reports on the life of two gay men who have lived together in Hawaii since 2004.