Congratulations Hugo and Fadrique! Your marriage is legal in California.
When I woke up yesterday, I found out that the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States), after a string of regressive civil rights decisions this month such as determining that we have no right to remain silent (unless we specifically state that we are taking the 5th), and striking down parts of the voting rights act, they surprised me by making a progressive decision in striking down DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) and refusing to uphold California’s Proposition 8.
The decisions on same sex marriage are a good start, but when it comes to equality for all, we have a long way to go. Same sex marriage is still not legal in the majority of US states, and other civil rights are being eroded. Still, this is cause to celebrate: especially for Californians, who can see a decade-long battle for marriage equality finally coming to an end.
I am a California writer, and I usually write about California. Because California is diverse, and I seek to show our diversity in my horror and science fiction stories, I do have some characters who are members of the LGBT community: about a half a dozen of them at this point. Of those, the ones this legislation would most immediately and directly affect if they were not fictional characters would be a married couple, Hugo and Fadrique Saunders.
How the ruling would affect would Hugo and Faddy
Hugo Saunders is a 20-something gay man living in Southern California. He is married to Fadrique “Frederick” Saunders, a 600-something year old bisexual ghoul with a thriving plastic surgery practice: actually, two thriving plastic surgery practices, one that serves rich and famous Hollywood humans and one that serves ghouls.
Before the recent rulings, Faddy and Hugo had been married in a state where gay marriage was legal, but they were living in a state where it was not legal. Now, it is legal in California. According to this handy New York Times chart on how the ruling affects same-sex couples, starting 25 days after the decision, the couple will be eligible for the same 1,000+ programs and benefits all couples enjoy upon marriage.
Because they are a couple who has a large difference in their incomes (Hugo was working as Faddy’s receptionist when they met), the couple will enjoy tax breaks related to married couples. Hugo is a native Californian, but Fadrique is an immigrant from Spain. In the unlikely case that Fadrique’s actual citizenship is discovered (he is 600 some years old and has forged papers), he would have the same rights as opposite-sex binational couples enjoy with regards to citizenship.
If anything should happen to Fadrique, as a legal step-parent to Fadrique’s child with the heroine of Warmth, Sera (yes, Fadrique is the probable biological father of the child Sera has been pregnant with for 600 years) Hugo would enjoy the same right as any other step parent when it came to asking for visitation or (if anything happened to Sera) even custody.
If anything should happen to Fadrique, Hugo would also be able to inherit as his spouse, his considerable estate.