Editor’s note: July 6, 2013 — Read our update, “The Story Of Lon And Jim: Torn Apart After 34 Years By The Hidden Evils Of Marriage Inequality.”
A Texas man says he and his partner were together for 34 years but his partner’s sister has now forced them apart, taken their home, and his partner’s finances — and done it legally because they weren’t married. For the last six years his partner, Jim, who is older, suffered from Alzheimer’s. Jim’s estranged sister, Lon Watts writes on Facebook, was able to take their home and Jim’s finances through the courts by filing for guardianship — despite Lon having power of attorney.
“She put him in a Nursing Home and had criminal trespass orders against me to keep me away from him,” Lon Watts writes:
I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO SEE HIM AGAIN! She got his bank account from Social Security Disability and sold his house out from under me. I had 2 weeks to vacate uur home of 12 years. [sic]
If we were EQUAL in the eyes of the law we would be together till the end. But as it stands in Texas, a money hungry greedy relative was able to steal our life and toss me out as trash to pad her pocketbook. I pray God has mercy on her soul for her evil deeds. I am content knowing the world is coming around to acknowledge that ALL HUMANS ARE CREATED EQUAL and SHOULD HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS.
Lon’s story has been shared almost 3000 times on Facebook and has more than 3000 likes. Sadly, Lon and Jim’s story, and others like it, are the exact reason why marriage must be extended to all same-sex couples across the entire nation.
Anyone who claims needs and rights of same-sex couples can be protected through some legal forms is not only mistaken, but wholly wrong and spreading false information.
One Facebook commenter notes:
Power of attorney is only for medical decisions. In the state of Texas all of the following must be obtained :
Second Parent Adoptions
Medical Record Releases
Powers of Attorney
Power of Attorney in not enough!
When it comes to inheritance, distribution of property and personal effects, medical, financial, and burial decisions, no one who is not your legal spouse or blood relative has any rights to act on your behalf. Gay marriages and civil unions are not currently recognized in Texas. Therefore, it is essential for the Texas LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community to have comprehensive and thorough planning that is tailored to protect themselves and their families.
While another writes:
No that is incorrect! POA does NOT cover medical decisions in Texas!! You must have a medical power of attorney to handle medical issues. Please consult with an attorney before assuming what each document does. I handle these matters for the LGBT community and it is so important to have the right things in place. You must be sure to express each need to your legal practitioner and then make sure you understand what each document you have covers and what protection it provides for you.
All of which merely expose the fact that not only does each state handle LGBT issues differently, there’s a great deal of confusion even within the LGBT community.
Even then, same-sex couples have to fight with hospitals and courts to make certain our wishes are followed — when we are at our most vulnerable, sick or unable to do so for ourselves.
Opposite-sex couples don’t have to worry about any of this — they just get married and get over 1100 rights, automatically.
If there’s anyone who can offer legal advice or assistance please contact Lon directly through his Facebook page.
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