Annie Leibovitz's financial woes due to being queer?
By Noah Michelson
Photo: Getty Images
You've probably heard that Annie Leibovitz was recently forced to sign away the rights to her iconic photography in order to pay off millions and millions of dollars in debt she's racked up. When the story first broke most people (we admit it -- even us) were thinking "Damn, girl! If you shredded a few of those Discover cards and started eating off the Taco Bell value menu once in a while like the rest of us, you wouldn't be having these problems!" But now it seems she may have fallen victim to something even more nefarious than an crippling, incurable shopping bug: homophobia.
After Ellen's Julia Miranda argues that much of the debt Leibovitz is struggling to vanquish stems from the death of her partner, Susan Sontag, in 2004. When Sontag died she left Leibovitz her estate including several pieces of property. Miranda says:
same-sex couples do not have the same privileges as straight married
couples when it comes to inheritance. If your partner passes away and
leaves her estate to you, you have to pay up to 50 percent of the value
of your inheritance in taxes. However, if you and your partner were
recognized as a married couple, you wouldn’t have to pay a dime. And it
is precisely this unjust double standard that got Annie Leibovitz into
Miranda finishes by stating that while Leibovitz could have avoided all this trouble by simply selling the properties when she inherited them back in 2004 (when the market was still hot), if queers could get married (or at least had better legal protection) she wouldn't have had this problem in the first place. And so Annie unfortunately winds up with unimaginable financial woes and as one more example of how much further we as a community still have to go.
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