Lucie & Annie - West Rockport, ME
Lucie and Annie
West Rockport, Maine
We are blessed to have shared our lives together since 1994 and we expect to be together all our days. Annie is a clinical social worker. Lucie recently retired from teaching art history to college students in settings ranging from Dartmouth to the Maine State Prison. We live in West Rockport and are active members of the First Universalist Church in Rockland, which is where we met.
We have done all that we can to honor and affirm our commitment to each other and to protect our family. In 1996, we had a commitment ceremony attended by over 100 friends and family members. Five years later, we had a civil union in Vermont. We have registered as domestic partners in Maine. In August 2008 we were legally married in California, and then returned home to Maine to celebrate with over 120 people at our church.
When we returned from Vermont in 2001 and told our friends that we had a civil union, the response was a lukewarm "that's nice." But when we came back from California and said that we are now legally married, the enthusiastic response over and over again was “Congratulations!” which means, "Welcome, you belong!"
Like many couples, as we age, our conversations focus on insurance, health care, social security, wills, estates, and inheritance. When we travel we carry with us copies of our powers of attorney and health declarations, hoping that should we need them, they will be honored.
We bump into issues small and large related to our inability to marry:
- We pay more for a car insurance policy than married people.
- To insure that after my death Annie will be able to remain in our home without substantial financial penalty, I have transferred partial ownership to Annie over the years so that we now co-own our home. To do this we have paid over a thousand dollars in transfer taxes and recording and legal fees. That's a lot of money to us and it’s money married couples don't have to pay.
- When one of us dies neither of us will have the ability to receive the other's Social Security benefits.
We wonder what other family safety nets won’t be there for us when we need them.
Like other couples who find deep love at midlife, we share the bittersweet truth that life is precious and short. We hope that one day we can publicly proclaim that deep love we have for each other through marriage - here, in our beloved Maine.