Melinda Schneider (left) in Canada was one of the authors of the letter. Photo: private
The letter was written to accompany a citizen's proposal sent to the Danish government last Wednesday, which has so far received nearly 2,500 signatures.
Dear Government of Denmark,
It is with heavy hearts that we write to you now regarding the newly announced policy made on Friday, May 29th, 2020 regarding the border reopening plan. We are writing this letter on behalf of our peers, all of us in the joint Facebook group entitled “Kærester Adskilt af Grænselukningen Under Coronavirus”, and on behalf of all those who have yet to find us. We write because we are unable, despite our fundamental needs as human beings, to be with those who we love, which we need now more than ever as we are in a time of crisis and global uncertainty.
We share the joint mission and dream of being reunited with our loved ones inside the Danish border. We almost felt that dream come true last week, on May 20th, 2020, when the Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, announced that the borders were opening to romantic partners outside of Denmark. However, that feeling of relief after what has been a gut-wrenching time full of heartache and uncertainty was quickly taken away the next morning when the clarification made its way into the news: this decision only applied to those who live in Germany or the Nordic countries.
While we understand the seriousness of the public health threat that the coronavirus causes, we are unable to understand what scientific, and health-based evidence has caused the government to make this decision. We are having difficulty understanding what makes us different, in terms of infection pressure, from the spouses, life partners, and children who come from the same countries as us. We are a small group, only a few hundred, who are in connection to Denmark. We are lovers separated all over the world, and we are being denied our basic human rights to be with those who we love in the free world. Our love knows no boundaries.
We are willing to get tested upon arrival and/or quarantine ourselves for 14 days if that is what it takes. The risk is not higher than accepting thousands of tourists from Germany, Norway, and Iceland. We are those with loved ones in Denmark, whose families have been ripped apart due to the lack of a marriage license, with both unborn children, and children who are missing a parent; we are those who have plans to make Denmark our home. We are those who are unable to feel the comfort of the physical embrace of our loved ones, in the time where comfort is more important than ever. All of this is our reality – and it is our reality with no end in sight. However, you have the power to change this.
It is our utmost hope that you will take into consideration the consequences of forcing couples apart, simply on the basis that they do not come from the “right” country. It is important for the mental health of all international couples involving Danish residents, not just those from Germany and the Nordic countries, to be able to see those we love. Long-distance relationships are not easy by nature, and the uncertainty of the restrictions has been unbearable for the last few months. We hope you will consider easing the border restrictions for our group, or at the very least ease our uncertainty by giving us a definitive date on when we may be reunited. We will say it again, one last time to ensure that you are aware of what it is that we are fighting for: “love knows no boundaries.”
Thank you for your time and consideration,
The Members of Kærester Adskilt af Grænselukningen Under Coronavirus