WASHINGTON — Nino Esposito and his partner Roland “Drew” Bosee never thought they’d see the day when same-sex marriage was legal in the United States.
Prior to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision this summer, Esposito and Bosee were one of many same-sex couples who used adoption laws to gain both legal family ties and benefits, as CNN reports.
In 2012, after being together for 40 years, the couple followed through with the adoption.
Now, they’re hoping to reverse the adoption so they can get married. So far,
Judge Lawrence J. O’Toole of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County has denied that request, claiming adoption annulments are exclusively reserved for cases of fraud.
“[The adoption] gave us the most legitimate thing available to us,” 68-year-old Bosee told CNN.
“We realized we could have a complete union,” Esposito said, “which is what we want.”
Judge O’Toole insists he’s “sensitive to the situation” but that they cannot marry “because they are legally father and son.”
ACLU Pennsylvania doesn’t think Judge O’Toole is being unsympathetic. Most likely, they say, he believes the necessary legal legwork should be “forged by an appellate court.”
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 who that they can finally partake of their constitutional right to marry,”
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey requested the Justice Department decide in favor of the couple, writing, ““LGBT couples should have the right to obtain a marriage license, no matter the state or jurisdiction in which they reside. In adoption cases such as these, the law has changed dramatically since the adoptions were first carried out.”
The department is currently reviewing Casey’s letter.
Esposito and Bosee hadn’t expected any hitches when first filing their annulment, expecting they’d be hitched that day.
They’re now being a bit more cautious regarding their wedding plans.
“We had our $80 in cash and we were ready to go across the street to get our license,” Espoito said. “Judge O’Toole had other ideas.”