Same-sex couples married out of state have options now in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Alabama, at least for the time being, it opens up a number options for same-sex couples who married out of state and moved back to Alabama.

Tony and Bobby Christon-Walker have been together for six years and are raising Tony’s nephew. When they married in Washington D.C., they never imagined their marriage would be recognized in Alabama just a year later.

10-year-old Maurice loves videos games. The 4th grader may soon be the legal son to the two men he calls dad.

“Maurice is our life, at this point,” said Tony. He and Bobby want to make sure that Maurice has a loving home as he grows up. It’s a future they weren’t sure would happen when Tony was diagnosed with cancer. Bobby’s insurance recognized their marriage, as long as it was in a state that it was legal. Tony tells me had he not been on Bobby’s insurance, treatment would have been far away.

“I was going to have to go to phoenix, instead of right next door to Georgia,” said Tony. For straight couples, the simple act of getting a marriage license ensures a spouse rights in case the other is hospitalized, or dies. Same-sex couples, in states where their marriage isn’t recognized, have more hurdles to clear.

“We went through the wills, power of attorney, the living wills and a health power of attorney,” listed Bobby. Tony says they did all that so they can make decisions in case one of them became incapacitated. Tony and Bobby know other couples who went to the courthouse for marriage licenses. While they’re happy for them, both know a marriage is more than a certificate.

“There’s security that, if anything happens to either one of us, the other one who’s left is still the parent or still gets claim to everything,” said Bobby.

“It’s more than just a piece of paper,” he continued.

The two plan on adopting Tony’s nephew Maurice with a two parent adoption to make sure he doesn’t have to return to the state’s care.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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