“UK puts a price tag on love”
Suzanne is British, with an American fiancée, living in the north-east of England.
They’ve been together for nearly three years and planned to marry this year.
Suzanne earns £16,600. She earns less than the £18,600 requirement, a salary she is unlikely to earn for a long time, because the average wages in northern England are lower than in the rest of the country. However, the cost of living is also lower and £16,600 can go a long way.
Their only recourse is to try and save up over £20,000 in cash – a figure the government has plucked out of thin air, to make up for the £2,000 income deficit from the £18,600 per annum salary requirement. An amount that will take years to save, if ever.
Suzanne cannot move to the US because the American government does not recognise same-sex unions. So, their lives are on hold, and their right to a private life is held in check by two countries with equally discriminatory laws. The UK puts a price tag on love, and America has a gender requirement.
Since they have no idea when they will be able to be together, the separation is slowing chipping away at their sanity as they struggle to stay on track; relationships are hard enough to maintain at the best of times.
However, enforced distance results in additional frustrations, distress and depression.