AfterEllen makes a good point about the recent news of Annie Leibovitz financial troubles. The NYT recently Leibovitz was forced to take out a loan using her life's work as collateral. This may explain part of the reason why. When Leibovitz's partner Susan Sontag died, she inherited properties in her estate. In the case of a straight married couple, this would be no big deal. But in the case of a same-sex couple, the taxes are onerous:
"When Sontag died in 2004, she bequeathed several properties to
Leibovitz, who was forced to pony up half of their value to keep them.
Yes, she makes a nice chunk of change from Vanity Fair, and
yes, she probably could have just sold the properties when the market
was good in 2004, but that’s not really the point. The point is she
should never have been in the position of paying or selling to not pay
as much in the first place. Her wealth and poor decision-making are
Salon's Nancy Goldstein: "Will this profoundly unfair issue be challenged now that attention's
being drawn to it by the situations of couples like Sontag and
Leibovitz who are far higher-profile than me and my gal?"