Gay and Lesbian Issues

By Jared Laskin

..........Unless and until same-sex marriage is legally recognized in this country, gay or lesbian couples who wish to live together in a committed relationship have no alternative to unmarried cohabitation. Unfortunately, unmarried cohabitation is distinctly inferior to marriage in terms of providing a legal structure which defines the parties' rights and obligations. Therefore, it is up to the couple to define these rights and obligations for themselves.

..........There is no legal difference between unmarried cohabitation by straight couples and unmarried cohabitation by gay or lesbian couples. Accordingly, all of the material in this Web site applies to same-sex relationships.

..........Although there is no legal difference between cohabitation by straight couples and cohabitation by gay or lesbian couples, there is an important practical difference. A gay or lesbian partner may find that it is very difficult to enforce an oral or implied cohabitation agreement in court, because the judge or jury, if biased against same-sex couples, may be unwilling to "reward" a gay or lesbian partner for engaging in such a relationship. For this reason, it is extremely important for gay and lesbian couples to clearly define their financial arrangement through the use of a written cohabitation agreement. See "Why You Should Have a Cohabitation Agreement."

..........Other articles on this Web site which may be of interest to you include:

..........What You Should Know Before You Move In Together

..........The "NEVERS" of Living Together

..........Estate Planning -- Wills and Trusts

..........Power of Attorney for Health Care

..........Also see the "Gay and Lesbian Resources" in the "Resources" section of this Web site.

..........The information on this Web page is based on California law.  It is not legal advice and cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your State based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. See Disclaimer.