July 8th, 2008

Age of Innocence

Lesbian Partner Financial Mess

A woman who had been in a committed relationship, living with another woman for fourteen years... having spent only 5 nights apart during those years... wanted to ensure her mate's financial security. Since they were barred from marriage, or even civil union, (in 1991) the woman legally adopted her mate. Unfortunately they ended their relationship a year later. A financial agreement was reached in the split but they vowed never to annul the adoption.

Turns out the woman who adopted her mate was the daughter of a man who controlled much of IBM. When he and his wife died they left a large amount of money to their grandchildren. The adopted mate of his lesbian daughter attempted to claim part of the inheritance as a granddaughter. The family contested the claim and a court annulled the adoption based on lack of residency in the state the adoption was filed in. They had to file in Maine, a state they vacationed in for several weeks every year, because their home state of New York wouldn't allow homosexuals to adopt their partners.

The ruling is being taken to a higher court.

[If your brain hasn't exploded yet, the article is here]

Now, to me, it's way wrong for the adoptee in this situation to claim part of the inheritance... but all this would have been avoided if gays and lesbians were granted the same rights as heterosexuals.

It's a mess of a story but it illustrates the lengths non-heteros must go to in an attempt to secure every-day rights which heterosexuals take for granted.