JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, some say they fear same-sex marriage is next.
Watching a decades-old law being overturned struck fear into some same-sex couples. That’s because Justice Clarence Thomas called explicitly for other rulings to be revisited.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote, referring to decisions on contraception, sodomy and same-sex marriage. Obergefell v. Hodges established the right to same-sex marriage.
One Jacksonville couple News4JAX spoke with said while they are worried, they knew they had to take action. So the couple decided to take the necessary steps to protect their marriage.
“I want people to understand and really think about what’s happening in the county. It doesn’t just affect gay marriage, it affects all of our privacy,” David Bergeron said.
Bergeron and his husband Tony have been together for 30 years and have been married for six. That was a year after same-sex marriage became legal in 2015.
Bergeron said in the last few weeks he’s heard rumblings of Roe v. Wade being overturned. He said it made him reach out to his lawyer and do what he can to protect his marriage.
Estate Lawyer Rosemarie Preddy agrees with the couple’s efforts to protect their marriage.
Bergeron said if the law saw him as not married, his assets could be taken to probate or given to family members without his discretion.
Preddy urges couples to get their affairs in order by documenting what you own and who will inherit it, getting a power of attorney, establishing health care surrogates, and a living will.
“Some of them are documents that protect us so that, our assets, if something happens to one of us and we’re not legally married, our assets, our home, our real estate, our retirement, I can go on and on, all of these are now protected with these documents,” Bergeron said. “In our case, if our marriage isn’t recognized, the law says Tony doesn’t get anything. If something happens to me, it goes to my next of kin.”
“The most important thing is just to not think that it’s out of your control, it’s completely in your control now.” It’s documenting what you own, who will inherit it, getting a power of attorney, health care surrogates, living wills, and more that
Bergeron is encouraging other couples to do the same. He said it took him about two weeks to get those documents signed and made official.