|Some legal issues that are particular to the gay community
may be obvious. One would be that the very expression of ones gay behavior may be illegal
in most states. This is obvious to anyone and would explain why so few gay and lesbian
persons are willing to talk to straight persons or "out" themselves. Would you
want to go to jail?
In more recent years, however, some of the genuine concerns of the gay community have become more public. These issues surround the following:
Legal Power of Attorney:
No gay couple should be without some legal method to protect their financial rights together. If you do not have this and should you become sick, a family member can come right in and take over for you excluding your partner.
Health Care Power of Attorney
Every gay couple should have this in writing so that, should you become unable to make a medical decision, your partner would be able to make it for you. You should have discussed your wants and desires completely and shared this with your doctor.
Couples may contribute to the building of a home together. Quite often purchases are made in one name or the other. If you want to be sure that your partner would retain possession of your property, should you die suddenly, then you need a legal will.
Some persons have married and had children. They divorce and "discover" that they are gay or lesbian. Please be aware that custody will normally be awarded to the female. However, a case may be made that the mother or father is unfit if they are gay. This would NOT be an issue if the party were to declare that there would not be any persons sleeping over when the children were present. Please be aware that a straight father whose child visited on the weekends should be held to the same scrutiny. Interestingly, for some reason, most of our society thinks that being gay is only about sexuality. This shows you how little they understand about our community and our relationships.