(CNN) — Three years ago, when Scott Hamilton moved from New York to Oklahoma for work, his marriage, and all the rights that went with it, dissolved in the transition.
That’s because Oklahoma — a deeply conservative place — is one of 38 states that bans marriages between same-sex couples.
To make the move, Hamilton, 52, and his husband, Wayne Johnson, 59, who got married in Connecticut in 2009 and have been together since 1991, had to come to grips with the fact their relationship would no longer matter under the eyes of the law. They had to redo their wills and create new trusts to ensure their assets would be passed smoothly if one of them were to die.
If they were put into long-term care in Oklahoma, he said, the men would have to occupy separate rooms. They must file their taxes separately. And it’s almost impossible for them to use the word “husband” without comment.
John D. Sutter
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“Well, who are you? Are you his driver?” a nurse recently asked Hamilton when he was pushing Johnson through a hospital in a wheelchair, as he related it to me.
“No, I’m his husband.”
“Oh, good God,” she said, dismissively.
Oh-good-God is right.