As the nationwide fight for recognizing same-sex marriage continues, a story lies behind each couple seeking the dignity that a legalized union brings. While some of the unions are full of what new found love brings, most often the stories are of long term partners looking forward to a next chapter, one of which they have never before had the opportunity to enjoy.
Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera have been in a committed relationship for over 27 years, have two children, and reside in Indiana, a state that currently has a stay pending until a supreme court decision is made in recognition of same-sex marriage. As described in this article, the two women were legally married in March of this year in Illinois and returned to their established lives in Indiana. Romero and Rivera filed suit in U.S. District Court this week seeking the state’s recognition of their marriage.
The couple’s suit is one of urgency due to Rivera’s advanced stage of ovarian cancer. As debates continue as to whether or not same-sex marriage is morally acceptable or will lead to perversity throughout the nation, there are facts that are difficult for a reasonable person to ignore. Without the option of a legalized union, same-sex couples are not afforded legal rights that a vast majority of American’s enjoy. Such issues as care for a terminal spouse, custody of children, burial decisions and the like, are full of red tape and hoops for same-sex couples.
A joint stipulation between the parties has been filed in which Indiana has agreed to recognize the couple’s marriage, and in the event of death, will issue a death certificate recognizing Romero as the surviving spouse. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen has acknowledged the agreement and placed a stay on the case until such time the appeals court rules whether or not to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage.
The couple’s suit states, “Through its marriage ban, the state sends a purposeful message that the state views lesbian and gay men and their children as second-class members of society who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect and support that different-sex spouses and their families enjoy.”
If you or someone you know believe that their civil rights have been violated, the team at Radford & Keebaugh can help. Contact us by phone at (678) 369-3609 or use our contact form.