At a time when many Americans are facing financial troubles, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz is no exception. Leibovitz recently took out multiple loans against her famous photographs in order to pay tax debt on properties inherited from her long-time partner Susan Sontag.
Since Sontag’s death in 2004 the photographer has encountered many of the injustices suffered by same-sex couples who do not have the right to legally marry. While married couples can inherit each other’s property upon death without paying taxes, same-sex couples cannot. As a result of this disparity, Leibovitz reportedly owed taxes equaling half the value of the inherited properties. She was forced to pay a large sum of money in order to simply keep living in her home.
According to the Human Rights Campaign this is one of over 1,000 federal rights and benefits straight married couples have that gay couples, who lack the protection of marriage, do not.