For more than a decade, Patricia Rolfingsmeyer and Tina Sammons lived as a committed couple even when the states where they resided did not recognize their same-sex union. They wore matching diamond wedding bands, bought a house together and declared at a private ceremony, “It may not be legal out there, but it is in here.”
When the laws began to change around the country, the pair drove from their home in Pennsylvania to Maryland, where they were officially married in 2013. Less than three months later, Sammons, a U.S. Air Force veteran and longtime U.S. Postal Service employee, died of metastatic breast cancer.
The couple’s union, according to the federal government, did not last long enough for Rolfingsmeyer to meet the nine-month marriage requirement to claim an estimated six-figure dollar amount in survivor benefits.
Rolfingsmeyer, now 71, is challenging the federal government’s denial of employee death benefits because it was not legally or practically possible for her to obtain a marriage certificate in her home state in the nine months before the death of her partner of 16 years.
Continue reading: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/same-sex-government-death-benefits-/2021/03/18/ac8da2b0-873f-11eb-8a8b-5cf82c3dffe4_story.html (source)
As soon as Mallory Arthur and Kelly Roberts got engaged in January, they started planning their October 2021 wedding.
But this week’s excitement wasn’t what the Woodstock, Ont., couple, both 26 years old, were bargaining for. When they tried to book videographer Caramount Pictures, based in Brantford, Ont., for their wedding, the owner told them the business will not work with a same-sex couple.
The refusal came on Monday, 15 years to the day after Canada legalized same-sex marriage, on July 20, 2005.
“I say this with much care, because I know your union is incredibly important to you, but we do not film homosexual weddings,” Cara Hamstra, the business owner, wrote in an email.
Arthur was shocked. “She was so blunt about it, didn’t even try to mask it,” she said.
“When I opened the email, my heart just immediately dropped. I felt sick to my stomach,” Roberts said. “It was just so blatant what she said. And usually people will try and dance around it.”
CBC News reached out to Hamstra for comment but has not received a response as of publication.
The couple had a similar experience in February.
Roberts said after meeting with a wedding officiant in a local Tim Hortons doughnut shop, he said he wouldn’t marry the two women.
“Mallory was grabbing us a coffee, and as she sat down and he realized it was two women, he said that his beliefs don’t support our marriage, and he would be shunned by the church if he married us,” she said.
Continue reading: https://www.cbc.ca/news
Joanna Maxon of Fort Worth, Texas was almost able to complete her degree from Fuller Theological Seminary last year. The 53-year-old was studying for a master of arts in theology, and she only needed a few more classes to finish her degree.
Then she was suddenly expelled for being in a same-sex marriage.
“I was approaching the end and looking forward to graduation and all that stuff,” Maxon told NBC OUT. “To have that taken away unexpectedly — I was a really good student — I was devastated by it.”
Maxon attempted to resolve the issue with the college directly. But since that was unsuccessful, she’s taking them to court. Her attorney filed a federal suit in California, where Fuller’s main campus is based, last week.
Continue reading: http://gomag.com/article/woman-expelled-from-christian-college-for-marrying-another-woman/ (source)