Bob was a young man, the baby of his family. We're talking a good ten-plus year age difference between him and the next youngest. He was one of those late in life surprise pregnancies that happened when Mom figured she wasn't having any more kids and is this menopause? Oh, it isn't.
In his teens Bob suffered an illness that eventually rendered him sterile. It's this sterility that the family used as the reason for why Bob never married. Maybe his family knew the true reason but never wanted to admit it, because this was a Christian household. Grace at supper, prayers at night, church on Wednesday and Sunday. KJV all the way. But poor Bob couldn't have kids, so he chose a life of bachelorhood rather than subject a woman to a life without children. How noble of Bob.
Yeah, that's why he never married or dated.
One day Bob met Doug, an older man and successful in business. He took Bob under his wing and brought him into the company. Bob was struggling financially, so he moved in with Doug. How nice, said the family, Bob has a friend and roommate. He's learning all about business from Doug and doing well. Doug loves to cook and sometimes they travel. So great to have a good friend. Doug was just that to Bob, yet there was something more there. Bob's family and Doug's family simply didn't see it, or chose not to.
Sadly, it didn't last. Doug got sick, and died. While he had a devoted partner in Bob, everything was in Doug's name - the house, the business, the money. That was just the way it was because Doug had built it from the ground up. They both worked, but Doug assumed the job of handling financials because he had a head for it, not unlike the father who pays the bills each month. It was a devastating time for Bob. He lost his friend and partner, but the story didn't end here.
Doug had made provisions for this eventuality so Bob could get by, and though Bob and Doug had a long history together, Bob had no legal standing when it came to his partner's assets. Doug's family, people who didn't communicate with Doug for the last part of his life, swooped in and claimed everything. They contested his will and won. They liquidated his house and business and told Bob to get lost. He wasn't family, he had no claim. He was nothing to them. Apparently Doug was nothing to them either, until he died and left behind something they wanted.
I knew Bob. Bob exists, and many more people like Bob have existed and dealt with similar issues. Had this happened in a time when Bob and Doug could legally marry, maybe it would have ended differently for Bob. Some people want to claim that marriage between two men or two women will crumble society, or that it's a ploy to flaunt sexual orientation, but I don't see it that way.
The idea that one half of a loving couple can lose everything he/she contributes to the partnership due to a legal technicality disgusts me. Marriage equality goes deeper than trying to buy cake from people who don't want to bake for you. It's about protection from this sort of thing. It's about being able to visit your loved one in the hospital and making sure his/her end of life decisions are handled with dignity.
I know a few couples who, thanks to the SCOTUS ruling, can remain married. I hope they don't run into problems like this. They certainly don't deserve trouble.
Buy: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH
While you're enjoying that, part one of On the Sly is ready in Sexy To Go, Volume 6 at Amazon. After that comes Sly Vs. Sly, but that story won't appear in a STG set. Have to save something for a bigger release. ;-)
Still waiting to hear when the First Lady Love box set will bow. I am guessing sometime in July it will come out. In the meantime I am waiting on word about my submission to another Coming Together volume (this would be my M/M alligator shifter), and I'm looking at other calls to see what interests me. While this is going on, I need to make a decision about something major involving my Dareville series.
I won't make any announcements yet, but stay tuned to see what I will have happening soon.