911225_wedding_cake_3.jpgIn Missouri, when a married person is seriously injured their spouse may have a claim for loss of consortium (con-sor-she-um) for the spouse’s permanent inability or temporary inability during his rehabilitation to provide household services, companionship, care, affection and loss of marital sexual relations. However, an unmarried cohabitants and gay partners are not afforded the same rights in Missouri.
In a few other U.S. states, the laws are evolving to hold that an unmarried cohabitant may state a cause of action for loss of consortium by showing that the non-marital relationship is both stable and significant as demonstrated by bye duration of relationship, mutual contract, economic cooperation and entanglement, exclusivity of sexual relations and “family” relationship.
Butcher v. Superior Court, 139 Cal. App. 3d 58, 71, 188 Cal. Rptr. 503, 512 (Cal. Ct. App. 1983).
Last week, a Montana judge rejected a gay couple’s suit to extend their rights and legal protections to be able to make burial and health care decisions for their partners and to have other benefits afforded to married persons, such as filing joint tax returns. The American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit argued that Montana Constitution guaranteed gay citizens equal protection and privacy. The Court held that the Montana Legislature is free to create a new, separate class for couples regardless of sexual orientation, but has chosen not to because Montana voters defined marriage as between a man and a woman in 2004. The ACLU plans to appeal the case to the Montana Supreme Court.
St. Louis Post Dispatch ” Montana Judge Rejects Gay Couple Rights Suit, 21 Apr 2011.
As a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans (LGBT) community, I am committed to representing its members’ legal interests. I have a record of commitment to seeing that the civil rights of all Missouri citizens are equally respected. Many attorneys may know the rights and concerns of a married couple, but not have experience with the rights of co-habitants. Though one person cannot change the law, the court is the forum through which bring issues of equality to the attention of the voting community and legislature.

If you have a legal issue, suffer an injury or your co-habitant suffers and injury and you remain unsure of your rights as an unmarried or gay partner, I will be happy to explore your rights and remedies. Contact me for free.


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