Some jerk told me once that I DO have the same rights as everyone else.
“All you have to do,” he said, “is marry a man.”
By Martha M. Hamilton
Sunday, August 26, 2007; Page F01
Ken Hausman and his partner, Deane Bergsrud, have been together for 27 years, and like many couples their age, they’re thinking ahead to retirement. They both have 401(k) plans at work and individual retirement accounts, and Hausman has a pension.
Nonetheless, “we worry a great deal about the future,” Hausman said.
One of their worries is whether the surviving partner will be adequately protected when the other dies — because of their unmarried status.Unmarried couples lack the automatic legal protections that kick in when one member of a married couple dies. And they lack other advantages in planning for financial security in retirement that are taken for granted by most couples.
But marriage is a solution that is unavailable to Hausman and Bergsrud. They live in Virginia, where marriage is prohibited for same-sex couples, as it is in most of the United States.
Together they make a decent income that has allowed them to save for retirement, and they have little debt. But they worry whether they have done everything they need to do to ensure that one won’t be left with too few assets after the other dies. Compounding their worries is a Virginia law that prohibits civil unions or other marriage-like contracts between same-sex partners.”
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