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    Posted January 5, 2014 by
    Chicago, Illinois
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    Gay Marriage Not Enough

    Many gay couples think that they are snug as a bug in a rug when they finally get marriage in their state. NOT TRUE!
    A married couple in New York is NOT a married couple in Alabama.
    People get a sense of well being and comfort in their own skin when they are allowed to live like human beings. However, when these same couples go to a homophobic state, like Texas on business or Florida for vacation you are downgraded to "just friends" status the minute you step off the plane.
    This can be a very serious problem if you have an accident, a medical condition or a hospitalization.
    What is going to happen in one of these situations is you are not going to be allowed to be bedside as your legal husband dies. Or make a medical decision for your wife while she is unconscious.
    We are not completely helpless. I recommend that you get the book "A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples". Yes, marriage is a civil contract between two consenting adults. Fact!
    There are a few things that you are going to do immediately if you have not done so already.
    First, get a HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY for each other. Make your spouse your legal guardian.
    Next, get a GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY which will allow you to sign for your spouse as they would for themselves.
    Third, get a LIVING WILL. Let your husband or wife pull the plug or not. YOU know what is right and wrong for your spouse, not a complete stranger in a homophobic red state.
    You should have a will for when you are home and you go through probate.
    Another smart thing to do is to jointly own any critical financial accounts. This will make sure that neither of you is financially stranded in a crisis situation.
    This book is smart and has all the forms you would need on CD.
    If you run into an issue with finding someone to notarize, go to a UPS store. They have to notarize it.
    One last thing to remember, make a digital copy and put it on both your smartphones, on your skydrive or google drive. Check it every now and again to make sure you have access BEFORE you leave to go to one of these states.
    The states that have bans in them, have to recognize the power of attorney from the state you are resident in. Those laws are drafted and applicable to you. So basically, if you live in California and have a power of attorney for your spouse in California, Texas has to recognize and enforce according to that document.
    It is similar to a child support or restraining order from another jurisdiction.
    Again, if people want to add a religious element to THEIR marriage, they can. Have at it. However, people married by the justice of the peace are just as married as people who were married by the Pope! Fact!
    Marriage is a civil contract. Try getting a pastor to perform a divorce or handle your child support order.
    We are going to have to protect ourselves until the day when we have all marriages recognized in ALL states.
    It won't be long.
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