Father And Adopted Son Will Marry As First Father And Son Same-Sex Couple
Bill Novak and Norman MacArthur went from being father and son to getting a license to legally marry, according to the Daily Mail.
Novak, 78, and MacArthur, 76, have been together for more than 50 years. They registered as domestic partners in New York City in 1994. After moving to Bucks County, they learned that Pennsylvania law does not recognize domestic partners and prohibits same-sex marriages.
Their relationship through adoption was solely a technicality to enable the rights they desperately wanted, but were not legally able to attain as a married couple. Their lawyer advised them that the only way to become legally related was through adoption. So, the two men became father and son in 2000, when Novak adopted MacArthur, only two years his junior, to give them legal rights to each other.
“It was the only legal method we could use in Pennsylvania to give underpinning to our relationship.”
The WorldNetDaily reported that even though the adoption was legal, the men still dreamed of being married to each other. Fifteen years later, the United States District Court declared Pennsylvania’s Marriage Laws prohibiting same-sex marriages to be unconstitutional.
Novak and MacArthur are in their 70s, but according to the court, they can get married. However, they are still father and son in the eyes of the Pennsylvania court. The next step was to have the adoption vacated.
On May, 14, Judge Gary B. Gilman of Bucks County Orphans’ Court vacated the adoption decree. This will allow the two men, who were once father and son, to marry. Their lawyer, Terry Clemons, said this is the first case in Pennsylvania history like this one.
Clemons explained that Novak and MacArthur used the adoption method to get rights for estate planning and access to medical care. The lawyer said this method was not uncommon when Novak, MacArthur, and other same-sex couples went that route.
“We are ecstatic beyond belief. I feel an enormous sense of not only relief but freedom that we can finally do something in Pennsylvania that I’ve been dreaming of for years.”
The day after the Petition to Vacate Adoption Decree was approved, Novak and MacArthur applied for a marriage license, and it was approved in 15 minutes. Novak and MacArthur have not set the exact date they will marry, but they say it will be soon.
The couple’s lawyer says the judge’s order will not only change Novak and MacArthur’s life, but it will have an impact on many other same-sex couples in Pennsylvania.
What do you think about the route Novak and MacArthur took to get a licence to marry?
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