Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why Marriage Matters: Tom & Keith

Tim Wighton [l] and Keith Gill [r]
Tim and Keith married in July 2009 in Provincetown, after 18 years together. Just three years later, in September 2012, Keith passed away unexpectedly.

What was a heartbreaking time for Tim, to lose his spouse, his partner, his love, turned disgusting by what happened to Tim after Keith's death. His experience is yet another stunning and tragic example of why full marriage equality, at the federal level, matters.

This is their story: 
In 2009 life was in a wonderful cadence. We relocated back to the USA from Europe: Keith had completed his MBA and my work with global medical missions were taking shape and making a difference.
So, that summer we married on the beach in the evening with our two labradors. We often said to each other, “the earth was made round so we can not see what is ahead of us.” Little did we know that life was about to take such a tragic turn.
Keith passed away suddenly in September 2012, in upstate NY while living with his parents recovering in the mountains from a recent stay in a rehabilitation center.
For the 20 + years we were together we spent time and money to assure that should something happen to either of us, we would be taken care of, that our families would not be able to challenge our commitment and our wishes: Wills, Health Care Proxies, Power of Attorneys, etc.
Unfortunately, because we were living in PA our marriage was not recognized and Keith’s family ignored his will, changed beneficiaries and took many of our belongings and possessions.
This is the reality of not having national recognition of marriage for all. Had we been a heterosexual married couple, this would never have happened and the courts would have intervened. Instead, I am forced to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees to get back what was mine and Keith’s wishes.
Keith’s family has ignored me after 20 years, therein ignoring our relationship, marriage and my existence.
How anyone can think that anyone can call themselves a family and then do this to their own son, to his partner, his spouse, his love, of over twenty years, is incomprehensible to me. And how anyone can read this story, and the countless others like it, and not realize that marriage equality needs to happen at the federal level, for all gay and lesbian Americans, also makes no sense.

Why marriage matters?

So we won't hear any more stoires like Tim and Keith's story.

via Gay Marriage USA


the dogs' mother said...

What a mean thing to do.

anne marie in philly said...

may those people rot in hell and be ignored forever!

anne marie in philly said...

to clarify my comment above, the "relatives" should rot in hell, not the cute couple.