The Gray Area in Same Sex Marriage

Two cases, eighteen hundred miles apart, same time frame, same combination of family and estate law, eerily similar facts, and eerily similar family dynamics.

They are from Texas and New York. Our own Elaine Berkeley handled the Texas case, a scrum of law firms and lawyers are overseeing the New York case. The difference in tenses may tell you how things have gone.

These are two cases that involve ‘modern families.’ Same sex relationships that began long before the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

New York

In the late 1960s, Bill and Tom, both artists, bought a three-family brownstone on Horatio Street in the West Village. At the time, no one was buying real estate in Manhattan. They lived together in a one-bedroom apartment on the ground floor that opened out to a courtyard garden and rented out the other three apartments.

Continue reading