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Get Your Ducks In A Row Or Else
August 6, 2007 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Get Your Ducks In A Row Or Else.

Those Atkins cheesecakes are delicious, but now they're leaving a bad aftertaste.
posted by Robert Angelo (30 comments total)

 
That is so incredibly sad.

Even married couples are at risk for having their wishes go unfulfilled in the event of a disaster though. It's so easy and inexpensive to set up the proper powers of attorney and to get a will in order.
posted by padraigin at 12:16 PM on August 6, 2007


...she told Conrad that if her son was going to return to life with his partner after recovering from his stroke, she would prefer he not recover at all.
Yep. That's Indiana, alright.
If the courts here ever rule that Conrad has any rights to care for his partner, you will know that there's ice-skating in hell.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:27 PM on August 6, 2007


A parent who would rather have their child be a near-vegetable than be healthy and gay should not be considered a parent at all.

Such a statement shows that she does not have her son's interest in mind. It's clear to me that she should not be considered competent to care for him.
posted by evilangela at 12:30 PM on August 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


I swear the headline on this post read "Get Your Dicks In A Row Or Else".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:31 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Learn all you can about Estate Planning specific to the LGBTQ lifestyle

If they keep calling it a lifestyle, the "it's a choice" crowd will too.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 12:34 PM on August 6, 2007


Seconding what padraigin said. We did the whole package a few years ago: wills, trusteeships for the children and durable powers-of-attorney (with medical). Put it off for a long time but felt an incredible peace of mind when it was all done. Spend the bucks and see an attorney - you won't regret it.
posted by jquinby at 12:35 PM on August 6, 2007


My Spousal Equivalent (we're not same sex) and I have tried to cover all the bases - we've got our Durable Powers of Attorney, our Health Powers of Attorney, our Wills, and our Living Wills. We don't own anything jointly yet, and have separate bank accounts. We have looked at all the issues, and tried to come in through the side door on everything that married folks get that we wouldn't. Yet, I'm still terrified that something awful will happen when we're traveling through Virginia. That state is just one of many that doesn't recognize any of the documents that we prepared and signed in Maryland. In Virginia, "if you ain't kin, you ain't nothin'."

Maryland doesn't have commonlaw marriages, so we can't even look forward to marriage by default.

How awful it must be to know that your life partner is invalidated by the cruelty of people who are supposed to love you, and laws that don't protect anyone at all.
posted by Corky at 12:36 PM on August 6, 2007


...she told Conrad that if her son was going to return to life with his partner after recovering from his stroke, she would prefer he not recover at all.

Unbelievable. Charitable, merciful, compassionate -- NOT!
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on August 6, 2007


These stories enrage me.
posted by schroedinger at 12:54 PM on August 6, 2007


See also: When Love is Not Enough written by Karen Celestino-Horseman, a former Indianapolis City-County Councilor.

Some additional backstory. A friend of ours used to see Brett and Patrick all the time when they came into a restaurant where he used to work in Indy. When he heard about the story he called us first thing this morning. There's a lot of people who are very upset about this, calling the governor, writing their legislators, and so on. It was a front-page story in today's Star.

He told us that many of the caterers and restaurants who had been buying from Atkins for years now say they will boycott them, as Celestino-Horseman suggests. The company used to sell their creations on one of the home-shopping networks (QVC?) though they don't seem to be there now.

If the case is, in fact, appealed to the state Supreme Court, it may generate enough publicity to raise consciousness and change laws -- if not in Indiana, then somewhere.
posted by Robert Angelo at 1:00 PM on August 6, 2007


Yep, that's my hometown.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:26 PM on August 6, 2007


Fundie Parents from Hell (or Indiana; for gay couples the two terms are synonymous...).
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on August 6, 2007


More on Jeanne Atkins and 'Atkins Elegant Desserts'...

Indiana Star: Time Out for Prayers -- "At 3 p.m. daily, Atkins president leads workers to pray for others, themselves."
posted by ericb at 1:34 PM on August 6, 2007


Conveniently, 3pm is between shifts, so you don't lose any of that cheesecake productivity.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:39 PM on August 6, 2007


Corky, forgive me for prying, but why not just get married?
posted by jokeefe at 1:41 PM on August 6, 2007


I wonder what Dick Cheney has to say about this. I suspect, though, that his daughter, Mary, her partner Heather Poe and their new son Samuel David Cheney are lawyered up seven ways to Heaven.
posted by ericb at 1:42 PM on August 6, 2007


Are they selling those t-shirts anywhere, or just tantalizing us?
posted by Miko at 1:46 PM on August 6, 2007


If ever there was a clear example of how "religion" is just a polite way of talking about certain types of mental disorders, this is it.
posted by petrilli at 1:47 PM on August 6, 2007


On the other side, opponents of same-sex marriage say the case could have been prevented if Conrad and Atkins had used existing laws that can give unmarried couples -- straight and gay -- the legal right to act on each other's behalf.

Yeah, unless you live in a state (Indiana is not one, yet) that has outlawed not only same-sex marriage but also anything that looks like it might be treading on the toes of heterosexual marriage (e.g., domestic partnerships, civil unions, etc.). In Virginia, for instance: "A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.

(And I'm no lawyer, but this sounds an awful lot like Virginia is saying it isn't going to recognize a contract I make with another consenting adult. Can that possibly be kosher?)

On preview: it's funny about Mary Cheney et al. - they live in Virginia, so whatever arrangements they've made to take care of one another and their child are technically invalid there.
posted by rtha at 1:50 PM on August 6, 2007


I'm not sure I could pass up a slice of cheesecake even if the profits were going to fund genocide, but I'll sure try to avoid Atkins cheesecakes from now on. I hope that Jeanne Atkins develops a sense of compassion, but I'm not counting on it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:00 PM on August 6, 2007


If they keep calling it a lifestyle, the "it's a choice" crowd will too.

Choice versus genetics is a pointless trap anyway, designed to bog people down in minutae. Implicit is the argument is the assumption that there would be something wrong with choosing to be gay, and that people are gay because they just can't help it. It's a conservative frame that gay folks shouldn't waste a godamn second discussing. As the article proves, there are much much much more important issues right now.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:07 PM on August 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Conrad traveled to the Atlanta hospital to be with Atkins but was soon denied access by the family. Hospital staff defied the family's wishes and let Conrad visit Atkins during off-hours."

I feel like sending the hospital staff a dozen roses. I hope they didn't get in trouble for doing that.
posted by chowflap at 2:19 PM on August 6, 2007


Corky, as a gay woman who can't marry her partner and is currently dealing with all the legal crap to approximate marriage, I say: why don't you do the thing that will protect you and your partner and get legally married?

I would do it in a heartbeat if I could.

I know I don't know your reasons, and I don't want to offend you, but I don't know why someone who could do this and save themselves all that trouble wouldn't. I admit I have a lot of rage toward the whole system of marriage in the US right now. In addition, it can be a lot harder to invalidate each of those contracts individually than all at once in a divorce.
posted by fiercecupcake at 2:42 PM on August 6, 2007


> In addition, it can be a lot harder to invalidate each of those contracts individually than all at once in a divorce.

Modern marriage being what it is, it occurs to me that that right there is a good reason to do it the with-lawyers way. "Marry you? Is that all? If you really loved me you'd offer me a signed five-page prenup without a no-fault clause. Then I'd know you mean it!
posted by jfuller at 3:34 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


(And I'm no lawyer, but this sounds an awful lot like Virginia is saying it isn't going to recognize a contract I make with another consenting adult. Can that possibly be kosher?)
Sure. There are all sorts of things you can't (enforceably) contract; IIRC they're called "unconscionable" contracts. The canonical example is you can't sell yourself into slavery (or indentured servitude) even if you want to. But other things can be invalidated on these grounds as well.
posted by hattifattener at 6:51 PM on August 6, 2007


Ten Reasons Gay Marriage is Un-American
posted by Burhanistan at 7:49 PM on August 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


At the time of the trial, Atkins was able to walk, dress, bathe and feed himself with some help, to read accurately but understand only 25 percent of what he read, and to engage in simple conversations, court documents show.

Christ. He must ask about his partner, and wonder where he is. I can hardly stand to think about what that evil woman must be telling him. How awful.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:52 PM on August 6, 2007


Burhanistan: awesome!

hattifattener: The canonical example is you can't sell yourself into slavery (or indentured servitude) even if you want to. Now that I think about it a minute, of course that makes sense...except for the part about self-slavery contracts are uh, a little different from a same-sex couple making the sorts of contracts automatically available to heterosexually married people (not that I'm saying that that's what you've said - I understand that you offered that as an example). It will be interesting to see what happens when Virginia's law hits the courts - and it will. I get nervous whenever we go to Virginia; as my partner's parents live there, we do kinda have to go sometimes.
posted by rtha at 8:49 PM on August 6, 2007


This is heartbreaking.
posted by dejah420 at 9:39 PM on August 6, 2007


i am reminded of a case from more than 20 years ago -- sharon kowalski, who was injured in a car accident and whose parents worked very hard to keep her partner from helping with her care and recovery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_re_Guardianship_of_Kowalski
posted by rmd1023 at 6:31 PM on August 7, 2007


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