Saturday, December 24, 2005

SSM "Diaper" Bag

Buried in a simultaneous amusing and informative article on being gay in the holidays, a Bay Windows report has solid suggestions for same-sex married couples traveling to nestle in the warm bosom of family.

The short of it is not only with family, but in accommodations and in case of emergency, the marriage may not be recognized. So:
For LGBT people and their families traveling out of state, there can be more important issues than family angst. Couples in Massachusetts may feel relatively secure with their marriages and second-parent adoptions, but if they travel to one of the 39 states with either a statute or constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage they may be in trouble. Particularly in the event of a medical emergency LGBT people could face legal difficulties in defending their right to make decisions for their spouses, partners, or children.

Karen Loewy, an attorney for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) said no matter what the law says in a given state, same-sex married couples are likely to find that there is no uniformity to whether their relationships are respected or not. She said some people will likely treat them as married while others will not.

“It would be na├»ve to suggest that the marriages are going to receive the respect they deserve in every circumstance. I think couples are going to find a real mix of experiences from private entities [and] public entities,” said Loewy.

She recommended bringing a marriage license or a certified copy of it for those couples who are married. But given the uncertainty around whether they will be recognized, she also recommended bringing a host of other documents, including powers of attorney, health care proxies, wills, living wills, relationship agreements, partnership agreements, and birth certificates and adoption decrees for any children they might have. She said when traveling out of state both married and unmarried couples should take the same precautions.

“There are going to be circumstances in which these marriages face discrimination, and in order to provide protections in those circumstances I think married couples and unmarried couples may stand on the same footing in the need for other documents,” explained Loewy.
Ho and ho and like that, baby.

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