It’s been revealed that a New York businessman stipulated in his will that his gay son’s children can only inherit his money if their father marries a woman.
According to the New York Post, Frank Mandelbaum, who died in 2007 at the age of 73, allocated a $180,000 trust to his grandchildren.
He insisted in the will, however, that these monies could only be paid out to his gay son’s offspring if he is “married to the child’s mother within six months of the child’s birth”.
His son, Robert Mandelbaum, a Criminal Court Judge, who is raising a 16-month-old surrogate son with long-time partner Jonathan O’Donnell, has now taken the estate to court over the matter.
He has argued that O’Donnell is the only “mother” their son, Cooper, knows and that the stipulation is discriminatory and against New York law.
Robert said in court papers that the will “imposes a general restraint on marriage by compelling Robert Mandelbaum… to enter into a sham marriage” which violates the state’s marriage equality law.
Anne Bederk, a legal guardian appointed to safeguard the infant’s interests, agreed and wrote in court papers that “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”.
She added: “There is no doubt that what [Frank Mandelbaum] has sought to do is induce Robert to marry a woman.”