Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sentimental about my affidavit of same-sex domestic partnership

affidavit of same-sex domestic partnership

I'm filling out this affidavit of same-sex domestic partnership so the university will recognize my same-sex relationship. Some people might view this as just beginning-of-the-year paperwork, but to a gay graduate student in a state with a constitutional amendment prohibiting any union that resembles marriage - this might just be the closest thing to a marriage license I'll see any time in the near future.

In order to get my partner the benefits other graduate assistants' partners enjoy, we have to sign this in the presence of a notary, and it has to receive a notary seal. Other than our joint bank accounts, credit cards, and life insurance policies, this "formal sworn statement of fact" will become the only legal document joining us together.

Since 2004, Ohio has been one step ahead of gay relationships by putting a stop to anything resembling marriage. According to the Ohio Constitution:
"Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."
A year ago, the option of this affidavit through the university wasn't even available - so I guess I should feel grateful. But I don't feel grateful. I feel like I have to jump through hoops to legitimize my relationship.

You can look up a list of U.S. state constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions by type on Wikipedia. Even if you're in an unfriendly state, it's worth checking with your specific university policy for partner benefits.