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Adoption Law Prevents Pennsylvania Same-Sex Couple From Getting Married

Adoption Law Prevents Pennsylvania Same-Sex Couple From Getting Married.

A gay couple in Pennsylvania is drawing attention to a little-known legal limbo facing some

same-sex couples in the wake of national legalization of gay marriage: they can’t get married because they’re technically father and son.
Nino Esposito and Roland “Drew” Bosee first met on Easter Sunday in 1970 and

have been partners roughly ever since, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

reports. They live in western Pennsylvania, where for many years Esposito was a

teacher and Bosee worked as a freelance and technical writer, but where same-sex

marriage has been legal only since 2014. In 2012, two years before that court

decision legalized gay marriage in the state (and before a Supreme Court

decision legalized it nationwide), Esposito, now 78, legally adopted Bosee, who

is 10 years younger. It was a common strategy at the time for same-sex couples

in Pennsylvannia to provide some of the legal protections of marriage, such as

hospital visitation and inheritance rights.

‘[Adoption] gave us the most legitimate thing available to us,” Bosee told

CNN of the adoption.

Esposito and Bosee applied earlier this year for an annulment of the adoption

so they could get married. A local judge said he was “sensitive to the

situation,” but cited Pennsylvania adoption law in denying their request. The

couple’s lawyers have appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey rallied to their side this week, sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch

requesting that the Department of Justice consider lending its support to their case.

“Our clients were deprived of their rights twice,” Andrew Gross, a lawyer for

Esposito and Bosee, told the Post-Gazette. “They did the only thing

they could do to become a family, and now they are getting hit a second time.”
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