With a fee of $50 or less, heterosexual couples can get a marriage license and get married. But for same-sex couples, as much as $10,000 can be spent obtaining legal protections through a lawyer to get just some of the rights and protections legal marriage provides.
Using wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, medical directives, hospital visitation requests, and disposition of remains papers, a same-sex couple can have at least some protection. Couples with children must go even farther, getting legal experts to draw up the necessary documents that provide for their children upon their death. Sometimes this includes the added expense of adoption.
Unfortunately, it’s literally impossible to secure all the benefits and protections of marriage with private contracts, no matter how hard you try.
Tens of thousands of gay servicemembers have been kicked out of the U.S. military both before and after the adoption of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And with the U.S. Senate’s December, 2010 vote to repeal that policy, it is fitting we remember the very first discharged – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin. It all [...]