For those of us who are fortunate enough to live in a state where the law protects our rights to marry our partners, these types of issues seem trivial.
An attitude of, “they’ll come around” is the norm.
As a part time resident of Texas and Illinois, I am one person who is in a unique position.
In the state of Illinois, Julie and I are legally married. This year we filed a joint tax return, we are both each other’s emergency contact, if something were to happen to either of us, the state of Illinois and the federal government would recognize our union and the remaining spouse would receive full benefits a wife is entitled to. Yes, that also means making hard decisions. But, if I am injured, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have making life and death decisions for me.
Here’s where it gets tricky. When I am in Texas, I am NOT considered legally married. Julie has no legal standing in the eyes of the law. If I were to be injured or killed, it would take a court order for her to be allowed to make decisions on my behalf. Because of that, when we were married, we had our attorney draw up almost every power of attorney, living will, last will and testament known to man kind! I’ve also had very serious discussions with both my children and her with her family.
Basically, anyone and everyone that could throw a wrench in our plans knows exactly what our wishes are…that the other person be allowed the right to make ALL decisions.
So, we are on a slippery slope. If I’m home in Illinois, it’s all good. If I’m in Texas, it’s tough shit!
Several days ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Texas law banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional. This came about when a lesbian couple were “married” and the surviving partner was denied all rights and privileges a surviving spouse should have been afforded. The poor woman was even refused the right to her partners ashes!! Are you fucking kidding me?!?!
Well, today, a STATE judge passed an order that the Travis County (where Austin is located) clerk issue a legal marriage license to a lesbian couple who also has applied under unique circumstances. One partner has a medical condition and the court felt that in the event of her death, her partner of 31 years should be allowed to make decisions about her estate and carry out her final wishes.
Bright and early this morning, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant stood on the steps of the Travis County Clerk office and became the first LEGALLY married gay couple in the state of Texas!!
Attorney General Paxton wasn’t having any of these shenanigans! He prompted the Texas Supreme Court to step in and issue a stay on the court order that allowed the marriage in the first place.
Now, here’s where things may get tricky (in a good way for our lucky ladies)…. As soon as the ceremony was complete, the couple rushed into the clerks office (see now, why they chose this location for their nuptials?) and filed their marriage certificate. A certificate that was signed by a recognized Rabbi who is legally authorized by the State of Texas to perform wedding ceremonies!
So, the stay may be a day late and a dollar short. Both sides are arguing the details, even as we speak.
The bottom line is this; why does it matter?!?! If two men or two women want to marry, let them! Is clogging up our legal system with issues that are better left to the surviving partner really worth a few bigoted, rednecks getting the last word in?
I’ve included a link so you can read more about it. What I will say is this…if I’m in Texas and it looks like I may suffer a life threatening or debilitating injury, someone drag me across the Texas/New Mexico border and call my WIFE!!!