Gay couple can't marry because technically they're father and son

By Lindsay de Freitas
05 November 2015

A same-sex couple in Pensylvania in the US were overjoyed at the prospect of finally being able to legally marry. But their matrimonial dreams have a hit snag – legally, they are father and son.

Before same-sex marriage was legalised in the US a few gay couples cheated the system by applying for legal adoptions, in order to gain the legal benefits enjoyed by straight married couples, such as inheritance rights and tax deductions. This was the case with Nino Esposito (78) who adopted his partner Drew Bosee (68) three years ago. But since the legalization of same-sex marriages their legal loophole adoption has become an obstacle. “We thought it was never going to come to Pennsylvania in our lifetime,” says Drew Bosee of his long-term dream to marry his partner of 40 years.  According to Drew the adoption gave the couple "the most legitimate thing available to us" at the time.

The couple are now trying to  annul the adoption to get married but a US  judge has rejected their request, citing that adoptions can legally only be annulled in instances where fraud has taken place. Presiding Judge Lawrence O'Toole claims that while he is sensitive to the couple’s desire to marry, "they cannot do so because they are legally father and son."

Nino and Drew are saddened by the complicated legal procedures involved as they had hoped to obtain a married license on the same day that they dissolved their adoption. "We had our $80 in cash and we were ready to go across the street to get our license. Judge O'Toole had other ideas," explained Nino.


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