Was Annie Leibovitz sunk by a discriminatory 'gay tax'?


Moral arguments aside, there are some very real financial implications faced by couples who can't or won't marry. Last week, savings guru Suze Orman made an impassioned plea for giving all taxpaying Americans equal taxpaying responsibilities, regardless of what happens below the belt.

This week, writers are are looking more closely at what happened to photographer Annie Leibovitz, who was forced deeply into debt and had to pawn the rights to her life's work. Leibovitz has always been deeply secretive about her sex life. In fact, when her partner Susan Sontag died in 2004, the New York Times said it couldn't find enough hard evidence of the relationship in its "extensive reporting" to write about it in Sontag's obituary. So the photographer isn't coming out now, so to speak, about the nitty-gritty of her finances, either.

When I covered the Leibovitz story last week, I paused to wonder whether the differences in inheritance law between married couples and non-married couples had contributed to her monetary meltdown. This week, more analysts are coming to the conclusion that indeed those differences appear to have been a contributing factor to Leibovitz's financial disaster. The AfterEllen blog put it this way: