I’m going to ask you to take a moment and think about the following scenario:
You meet the love of your life in college and you spend nearly 25 years together in a committed relationship. Even though you can’t get married in your home state, you travel to another state that recognizes your relationship and you get married. Sadly, a couple years later, the love of your life passes away. Unfortunately, your home state doesn’t recognize your marriage and so your status is relegated to “roommate.”
Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, this is the the real-life story of James Morrison and Thomas Proehl. Proehl passed away last year and under Minnesota’s “Defense of Marriage Act,” their marriage wasn’t legally recognized. The result: $250,000 of assets and inheritance would have reverted to Proehl’s parents (even though they wanted the assets to go to Morrison).
According to Morrison:
I worked with everyone from the federal government to state government to try and find resolution. What I found was a great deal of sympathy and empathy, but the law just wouldn’t allow them to resolve our estate without having to go to court.
The courts agreed with Morrison. According to MPR:
Judge Jay Quam agreed that under the state’s probate laws, same-sex married couples “should be treated in death like any other married couple.”
One can barely even think about what it would be like to lose their other half, let alone having to fight to even defend that your love was real and mattered. Morrison shares:
My hope is this will at least make a small difference, and people hopefully begin to put a face to their neighbors and families and realize why this is so important.
If you’ve ever wondered why there is so much passion from those who oppose the mean-spirited marriage amendment, let this be just one of many examples. What happens if we amend the Minnesota state constitution to further limit the rights of committed same-sex couples? Hopefully, we won’t have to find out…