From the Zero:
Two Oregon City women who describe themselves as friends and business partners rather than lovers filed for a civil union today in Clackamas County, saying the arrangement would help protect their business.
“We’re just opportunists,” joked Leska Emerald Adams as she applied for a civil union with her companion, Lynn Szender, at the Clackamas County clerk’s office.
As Adams, 47, and Szender, 51, explain it, they are bound by a “divine friendship” that is reinforced by the live-in caregiving business they own and operate together.
“We’re not lesbians,” Szender said.
A civil union will help protect their business. The formal bond means that that, if one of them dies, the other can take over the house, without worrying that her partner’s grief-stricken family will intervene, they said.
The union also means that Adams can share her partner’s medical benefits. When she’s not working at her home business, Szender is the director of health services at Mary’s Woods Retirement Community in Lake Oswego.
Three years ago, Adams and Szender bought a home in Oregon City. They painted it with vibrant colors, inside and out, landscaped the grounds with flowering plants and more than 300 trees, and hung feeders to attract songbirds.
“We’ve created the garden of Eden,” Adams said.
In this homemade paradise, the women provide around the clock rehabilatory and hospice care, treating one elderly patient at a time.
After accepting a decorative certificate to fill in at home (the name spaces were still blank), Adams pumped her fists in the air. She whooped, “Civil rights pioneers on a historic day!”