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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Gay rights

Support enhanced domestic partnerships

My dear friend Lou was together with his partner, Joe, for more than 50 years.

They had filled out all the legal forms necessary to make each other their voice if one or the other became sick or was hospitalized. Joe became very ill, and Lou was there to support him and voice his preference to die with dignity. Their close friends were there to give support to both of them through this process.

When Joe passed away, and Lou tried to carry out his wishes for transporting his body to the funeral home, grieving Lou was told that he could no longer make any decisions; it had to be a blood relative. After being Joe’s partner for more than 50 years and his voice while in the hospital, Lou was forced to contact Joe’s family and have them make the final decisions for releasing the body.

They thought they had made it so each other could be the voice for the other, but at this last moment, the choice was taken away from them.

This would have never happened if they had the same rights as a married couple.

With the support of the people of Washington state for enhanced domestic partnership, no couple that has chosen to register its domestic partnership with the state of Washington will have to endure what happened to my friends Lou and Joe [“Groups ready to battle over gay-benefits bill,” page one, March 11].

— Jim Brown, Seattle

Marriage should be open to all

Marriage is a right. When I was a little girl, I dreamed about getting married and wearing the white dress and having my dad walk me down the aisle.

When I grew up, I was fortunate enough to find a man I love who loves me. When we knew that we wanted to create the rest of our lives together, we decided to solidify it, shout it from the rooftops and share that experience with our families and friends.

If someone else grew up with that same dream of finding their soul mate, and has been blessed enough to do so, they should also have the right to get married and enjoy all of the amazing experiences it brings.

— Angela Schumacher, Seattle

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