Gay marriage is obviously a hot topic for me, not only because of how it affects unique families and non-traditional families, but also because of the legal implications to lawyers who practice estate and family law. With “traditional”, aka “Federally supported”, marriages my job takes less time and due diligence to ensure that the families are protected when a loved one dies or is incapacitated.
Gay marriage at the state level actually makes things trickier because it is not Federally-recognized. In those states where gay marriage is legal, separate tax records must be kept and the same amount of paperwork is filed for estate planning because of how the IRS views same-sex and unique couples as it would be if there were no gay marriage in that state at all. Still, from a purely social perspective and no thoughts to probate laws, wills, succession planning, etc. I am highly interested in how cases like this will play out.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights has made a motion to have the the video proceedings of the Proposition 8 Trial made public. This is a PR move on the part of the American Foundation for Equal Rights because they believe that were the American public to see the arguments made against gay marriage, see the “ugliness” in some of the dialog that they would understand how divisive it can be to vote on someone else’s essential rights. I would hope that something like this could change hearts and minds, but I’m cynical. I’ll wait and see.
I will say, however, that I am glad to see that there is a momentum to the movement and that people are continuing to push hard for equal rights.
Until the day that we have a full-recognized legal marriages for gay and lesbian families, I will keep doing what I do every day to protect the rights of gay and lesbian families, single parent families, and other non-traditional families who are overlooked by current laws.