It Is Ridiculous That a Pennsylvania Judge Will Not Let a Man Marry the Longterm Partner He Adopted as His Son

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187315732Seventy-eight-year-old Nino Esposito and 68-year-old Drew Bosee have the kind of relationship most of us hope for. They have been in love and together for 43 years, and if the world were a fair place they would be looking forward to their golden wedding anniversary. Instead, they are having trouble getting married at all, because Bosee is legally Esposito’s son.

According to CNN, Esposito adopted Bosee just a few years ago in 2012. They had already been a couple more than 40 years at that point and they were updating their wills at the time, and they were justifiably worried about protecting each other as a family in the event of death or hospitalization. Esposito and Bosee thought at the time that gay marriage would never be legal in Pennsylvania in their lifetimes, so they resorted to adoption as the closest way they could find to legally become a family.

Esposito and Bosee wanted to be married, but at the time the adoption was “the most legitimate thing available to us,” Bosee said.

Now gay marriage is legal in Pennsylvania, and all the states of the U.S., and that is amazing. Unfortunately, when Esposito and Bosee applied to have their adoption vacated so they could marry, a Pennsylvania judge turned them down.

Other such adoptions have been vacated in many cases, but according to CNN, Judge Lawrence J. O’Toole, of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, said he was “sensitive to the situation,” but ruled that Esposito and Bosee could not marry because they were legally father and son.

“This Court welcomes direction from our appellate courts in handling parallel cases,” O’Toole wrote in his ruling.

O’Toole appears to be waiting for an appellate court to tell him what to do in these cases, but it is terribly unfortunate for Esposito and Bosee, who have been waiting a very long time to be legally married. When they went to court to appear before O’Toole, they had $80 ready and were all set to get their marriage license the same afternoon. Being rejected must have been devastating for them.

“We thought we wouldn’t live to see what the Supreme Court did this year with same sex marriage throughout the country,” said Esposito, who is 78 years old. “Now, we’re concerned we’re not going to live to see our own marriage happen.”

I hope they get their day soon.