George and Fred were both disabled veterans. During their later years together, they battled life-threatening illnesses and were hospitalized multiple times. Fred suffers from pulmonary disease and Parkinson’s. George was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago that resulted from his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
In June 2014, George was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. When Fred and George found out that George only had months to live, they decided to get married. In between George’s chemotherapy sessions, they traveled to California and were married on July 18, 2014. Sadly, George passed away on August 28, 2014.
When George died, the state of Arizona’s discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples was still in place. Before George died, he and Fred joined a lawsuit by Lambda Legal to challenge Arizona’s marriage ban.
While still grieving only two weeks after George's death, Fred fought and won a lawsuit in Federal Court to be recognized as George's spouse on George’s death certificate. Fred made history when his marriage to became the first legally recognized marriage of a same-sex couple in Arizona
Fred, who is a true hero for the LGBT movement, is struggling financially as a disabled, low-income veteran. George always had a higher salary than Fred and now that George has passed away, Fred should be eligible for increased Social Security benefits as George’s surviving spouse. But now Fred has to fight the discriminatory federal law that still deems him ineligible for spousal benefits even though he has won his fight against Arizona’s law. This may be a long fight and meanwhile he has no family, children, job or savings to help him stay afloat.
Fred survives solely on his Social Security benefits of approximately $1,200 per month. Fred is selling the couple's dream home because he could not afford it on his own. Fred’s health is failing and his financial worries cause him tremendous stress.
In George's memory, Fred and George’s friends have put together this page to help raise money for Fred . Please help us assist with Fred's day-to-day needs and allow him to live out the remainder of his life with dignity. Thank you.
DonationsSee top donations
- Beth Beckmann
- Pam and Autumn
- Ruth Kea
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more