Plunging Right In
This is exactly the reason why gay marriage is such an important civil rights issue. Without it, loving partners lose a vast array of rights, such as the right to sue for loss of consortium:
One day after getting married, a lesbian couple filed a medical malpractice lawsuit asking that one of the women receive damages because doctors failed to detect breast cancer in her spouse.
The lawsuit filed Friday claims "loss of consortium" for Michelle Charron, 44, because of the advanced breast cancer in new wife Cindy Kalish, 39.
Loss of consortium is a legal claim long available to spouses, but only newly available to gay and lesbian couples since the state began allowing same-sex marriage Monday. The lawsuit provides a glimpse into the kinds of legal battles involving gay and lesbian unions that Massachusetts courts can now expect.
Although such a rapid move will likely cause the right to decry opportunism or some such thing, this lawsuit is but the first of many, each of which will demonstrate the myriad ways gays and lesbians have been and largely are second-class citizens.
Oh, and if the court weasels out of this case by saying that the negligence predated the marriage, I will be righteously pissed off. Fortunately, that doesn't look likely:
Schreckinger said the lawsuit's timing could be challenged, because the alleged negligence was before the couple was married. But the couple's lawyer, Ann Maguire, said the court will view the case differently because marriage was not an option before Monday. The couple had a commitment ceremony in 1992.