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Gay Man Adopts His Partner to Avoid Inheritance Tax

Posted on the 30 June 2013 by Real Talk @talkrealdebate2012

Gay MarriageA few days ago I read an article on ABC News about a gay man who adopted his partner to avoid paying a higher inheritance tax.  John and Gregory (their names have been changed per their request) met at a bar 45 years ago.  They have been together ever since.  John, 65, adopted Gregory, 73.  The couple became worried that gay marriage wouldn’t become a realized concept in their lifetime.  The pair lives in Pennsylvania, a state which DOMA dictates a marriage is between a man and woman.

Even with last week’s ruling which saw the defeat of DOMA, the couple doubts that without further legal action their home state would not alter their laws.  They thought of marrying in California, but because their primary residence is in Pennsylvania they would still be subjected to a higher inheritance tax.  In their case, their inheritance tax is now at 4% as opposed to 15%.  The federal government and the state of Pennsylvania do not recognize same-sex unions and therefore would treat the inheritance as to a non-family member.  Since John’s father is still alive at 95, he was forced to adopt his elder partner. 

This case is a prime example as to why there is such an outcry over same-sex marriage.  Last year I shared my solution to the gay marriage debate.  I understand the topic is hotly debated amongst the masses.  But, I vehemently believe that regardless of your opinion on the word marriage I don’t understand how one could constitutionally deny a resident of the country the exact same rights as their fellow compatriots.  You can’t provide tax, medical, legal and other benefits to heterosexual couples and not provide the same benefits to same-sex couples.

If you think you can deny gay couples these unalienable rights then you simply are ignorant to reality and ignorant to the essence of this country.  It is utterly ridiculous that any citizen for that matter would have to resort to such drastic measures to ensure a similar benefit easily enjoyed by their “straight” counterparts.  It is truly counterintuitive to the inclusiveness of the American principle and Dream.

Gay unions should be the legal equivalent to a marriage. 

If you feel that a person’s sexual orientation should allow for lawful discrimination then I really don’t think there’s a point in debating this issue with you.  It would be a waste of my valuable time to engage in a discussion with such a person.  As I have always maintained, the real discussion has always been as to the term “gay marriage.”  People feel the word “marriage” is between a man and woman (as do I).  But, that in itself should not preclude inherent rights to gay individuals.

What do you think?

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Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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