Dead Dad’s Will Orders Gay Son To Marry A Woman Or No Inheritance For Son’s Child
Frank Mandelbaum’s will states that no offspring of his son will get any of his money unless he is “married to the child’s mother within six months of the child’s birth.” His 47-year-old son, Robert, is married — but to a man.
Frank Mandelbaum, the founder of ID verification company Intelli-Check, died in 2007 at the age of 73. He left a $180,000 trust aside for his three grandkids. Robert and his partner Jonathan O’Donnell, who he married last year, have been fighting to have the will’s demand ignored as discriminatory and against New York law. Their son Cooper Mandell, who was born of a surrogate, was 16 months old when they got married.
“Requiring a gay man to marry a woman…to ensure his child’s bequest is tantamount to expecting him either to live in celibacy, or to engage in extramarital activity with another man, and is therefore contrary to public policy,” attorney Anne Bederka wrote in court papers. “There is no doubt that what [Frank Mandelbaum] has sought to do is induce Robert to marry a woman.”