Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Not that the world going to hell in a handbasket is anything new, but ...
penknife: "Virginia just passed the 'Marriage Affirmation Act.' Not only does it ban gay marriage or civil union, and ban recognizing gay marriages or civil unions performed in other states, but it bans any 'partnership contract or other arrangements that purport to provide the benefits of marriage.'

What benefits are those? Well, the bill's pretty clear about that. ETA: Reading through it again, it's not actually out on the table in plain English. But this particular language probably means the following, according to the lawyers looking at the bill:

Powers of attorney. Custody arrangements. Health insurance coverage for same-sex domestic partners. Joint ownership of property. And--most sickeningly--wills leaving property to a same-sex partner.

It means that starting July 1, when this bill goes into effect, anyone who dies with a will that leaves their property to their same-sex partner can be treated as if they died without a will. Their property goes to their blood relatives. Don't have any? Sorry, your property's forfeit to the state of Virginia.

ETA: Not that the last is necessarily likely--it would probably be legal under this law, but the state's lawyers may not be quite that ready to start a legal battle. Wills being invalidated in favor of blood relatives is very, very likely.

The last time we had laws about who you could leave property to in a will, those laws were to forbid people from leaving property to slaves. That's not a part of our history I'd particularly like to revisit.

Anyone living in Virginia with a child they've adopted in a second-parent adoption? Sorry, you're a legal stranger to your kid in Virginia. If your partner dies, your kid goes to your partner's relatives or becomes a ward of the state. Have a custody order from another state? Thrown out. Have an order to pay child support to your ex's biological child? Probably thrown out too. "

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