A father in Pennsylvania is trying to void the adoption of his step-son so that the two can be legally married. That sounds really, really creepy. But before you go and write Rick Santorum an apology letter, read the whole story.
Nino Esposito (78) has been in a relationship with Roland “Drew” Bosee (68) for more than 40 years. In 2012, before gay marriage was the law of the land, Esposito legally adopted his longtime partner in order to secure legal benefits for their relationship. For example, according to CNN, the adoption lowered Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax from 15 percent to 4 percent in the event of one of their deaths.
So in other words, this was an attempt to exploit a legal loophole, not the realization of some creepy incest fetish.
“We never thought we’d see the day,” Esposito told CNN in regard to same-sex marriage. “[Adoption] gave us the most legitimate thing available to us.”
However, the couple is now unable to move forward with a marriage since they are legally father and son. And due to the structure of Pennsylvania’s adoption laws, which usually only allow for annulments in cases of fraud, a judge rejected their request to disband the father/son relationship.
However, Judge Lawrence J. O'Toole said he was “sensitive to the situation,” and “welcomes direction from our appellate courts.” In other words, he’s not trying to be a dick about it, he’s just not sure how to proceed in a legally responsible manner.
“We don’t believe the Pennsylvania judge who refused to annul this adoption was unsympathetic,” Witold Walczak, Legal Director of the ACLU Pennsylvania, told CNN. “The ACLU is hopeful that the Superior Court will apply established legal principles to allow annulment of adoptions by same-sex couples.”
But until the matter is sorted out by the courts, Esposito and Bosee’s marriage plans are in limbo.
“We had our $80 in cash and we were ready to go across the street to get our license,” Esposito said. “Judge O'Toole had other ideas.”