July 2004 Issue
When the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples earlier this year, attorney Frederick Hertz received a call from a client seeking advice on whether she and her lesbian partner should obtain one. Hertz, whose office is across San Francisco Bay in Oakland, had no easy answer.
“I said to her that when you get married and apply for a loan, the bank’s loan application does not have a box next to ‘Single,’ ‘Married’ and ‘Divorced’ that says ‘Marriage license applied for, validity in question,’ ” recalls Hertz.
That kind of uncertainty is becoming increasingly prevalent for same-sex couples as more and more states grapple with the question of just what kind of legal recognition to give their unions.
It’s unlikely that Scott T. Schutte, the son of a mailman and a receptionist, will ever get business from family connections. But the Chicago large-firm litigator is OK with that. Over the years, he’s come to terms with having a working-class background, and says he stands out in a profession with many second-, third- and sometimes fourth-generation lawyers.
Even as more states consider recognition of same-sex unions, gay couples face crucial personal legal issues.