Gay and Lesbian Issues
By Jared Laskin
..........Unless and until same-sex marriage is legally recognized
in this country, gay or lesbian couples who wish to live together in a committed
relationship have no alternative to unmarried cohabitation. Unfortunately,
unmarried cohabitation is distinctly inferior to marriage in terms of providing
a legal structure which defines the parties' rights and obligations. Therefore,
it is up to the couple to define these rights and obligations for themselves.
..........There is no legal difference between unmarried
cohabitation by straight couples and unmarried cohabitation by gay or lesbian
couples. Accordingly, all of the material in this Web site applies to same-sex
..........Although there is no legal difference between cohabitation
by straight couples and cohabitation by gay or lesbian couples, there is
an important practical difference. A gay or lesbian partner may find that
it is very difficult to enforce an oral or implied cohabitation agreement
in court, because the judge or jury, if biased against same-sex couples,
may be unwilling to "reward" a gay or lesbian partner for engaging
in such a relationship. For this reason, it is extremely important for
gay and lesbian couples to clearly define their financial arrangement through
the use of a written cohabitation agreement. See "Why You Should Have a Cohabitation Agreement."
..........Other articles on this Web site which may be of
interest to you include:
..........What You Should Know Before You Move In Together
..........The "NEVERS" of Living Together
..........Estate Planning -- Wills and Trusts
..........Power of Attorney for Health Care
..........Also see the "Gay and Lesbian Resources"
in the "Resources"
section of this Web site.
..........The information on this Web page is based on California law. It
is not legal advice and cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel
licensed in your State based on the specific facts and circumstances of
your case. See Disclaimer.